16:39 GMT26 February 2021
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    A Russia-US deal on cessation of hostilities in Syria between government forces and opposition groups showed the ongoing civil war would be resolved in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad, experts told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  Last week, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the ceasefire in Syria. The cessation of hostilities took effect at midnight on Saturday, Damascus time, generally holding across the country despite reported minor violations.

    "The outcome of the battle is predetermined in favor of Assad as the governmental forces gained advantage on the battlefield and Russia and the United States signed a ceasefire agreement in Syria," Yakov Kedmi, a retired high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, said.

    "If a ceasefire is observed, offensive of the Syrian army and the Russian air forces against the Islamic State and al-Nusra to be resumed with more strength. The Syrian governmental forces will be able to relocate larger units used against the armed Syrian opposition to fight the IS and al-Nusra," Kedmi argued.

    However, the question still remains if parties involved in the truce will continue to implement this fragile agreement.

    "I have not been optimistic about the cessation of hostilities holding. The first couple of days have seen a decrease in violence, largely because the Syrian government along with its Russian and Iranian allies seems to be content with the territory they have already taken," Daniel Serwer, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said.

    According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the truce deal in Syria has been violated 31 times since it came into force, but these violations would not get in the way of Assad successfully continuing his offensive operations against Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorists and, at the same time, pushing out the opposition forces, the Israeli former intelligence official added.

    The fact that Washington reached consensus with Moscow on Syria proves "the United States has little leverage to use against Assad and Russia in Syria" and that the Syrian conflict will be resolved in Assad’s favor, according to Kedmi.

    Another issue that speaks for the civil war ending in the Syrian president’s favor is Turkey, known for its anti-Assad stance, losing its international support on their policy toward Syria, Kedmi argued.

    "Turkey is and will remain isolated in regard to its position on Syria; no one is going to support Turks on the Kurds’ issue as well. Turkey has lost its last chance to be somehow included in the Syrian settlement process. Syrian Kurds, on the contrary, is a part of this process now," the Israeli former intelligence official explained.

    The Turkey-backed opposition in Syria is on the verge of defeat and has been cut off from the Turkish Army Forces and supplies, which also rules out the possibility of Turkey invading Syria for the lack of support from NATO members and the fear of being defeated, according to Kedmi.

    "Assad seems still to have solid support from his allies, who stand to lose a great deal from an end to the dictatorship in Syria," Serwer, who is also an analyst at the Middle East Institute, concluded.

    The Moscow-Washington negotiated truce has also been backed by the UN Security Council, which adopted a resolution on Syria on Friday, shortly before the ceasefire came into force.


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    ceasefire, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, US, Russia
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