(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — Amid a host of fresh criminal accusations against the Assad government in Syria, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is making significant gains against ISIS’ last major stronghold in the country, paving the way for the group’s inevitable fall.
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As the Guardian reported, Syrian state media is applauding the military’s recent advance, which broke a years-long ISIS siege on the government enclave of Deir ez-Zor, an oil-rich part of Syria.
“The Syrian Arab army this afternoon broke the siege on Deir ez-Zor city after its advancing forces arrived from the western province to Brigade 137,” the Sana state news agency said, as reported by the Guardian.
“This great achievement is a strategic shift in the war on terror and confirms the ability of the Syrian Arab army and its allies,” the army command was also quoted as saying.
The SAA is achieving this victory without the help of the United States, and the Guardian notes that Russia is providing Syrian troops with airpower. As Anti-Media reported on August 22, 2017, the SAA was closing in on this region to try to beat the U.S. military to the punch; the U.S. would have rather given this territory to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Russia’s military presence and bombardment of the area complicates this issue greatly for the U.S.
The mainstream media has been fairly silent on these recent developments even though they could signal the demise of ISIS as a territorial entity and pave the way for thousands more Syrian refugees to return to their homes. Thankfully, regional commentators have helped keep the story up-to-date and confirmed what many of us have been predicting for some time now.
There is still much work to be done in terms of liberating the area from ISIS, but as the Guardian noted, Syrian analyst Aron Lund says the SAA’s recent success on its own would be “one of the most symbolic victories in its six-year war.”
The most disturbing part of this particular narrative is the fact that, as the Guardian explained:
“Civilians gathered on either side of the road connecting the base to neighbourhoods of the city to welcome the arriving troops.” [emphasis added]
Essentially, a western-media outlet has confirmed that the Syrian people held hostage by ISIS welcomed the prospect of being liberated by the SAA. This is the same group of people that western media have insisted are committing a host of human rights abuses and must be completely dismantled and overthrown.
Even if the numerous allegations against the Assad government are true, a report published in April by the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a leading security analysis agency, found 43 percent of ISIS’ battles between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, were fought against the Syrian military and its allies.
Not only is the SAA the most engaged entity combatting ISIS, but the SAA and its associated forces are also clearly some of the more effective forces targeting ISIS. The SAA is the only legitimate body that should be liberating Syrian territory from ISIS given the U.S. has no legal justification to conduct military operations in the war-torn country.
Even though the downfall of ISIS is something one would expect western media to celebrate, when the campaign is being spearheaded by a secular government, the corporate media generally finds this is not a story worth covering. If the U.S. and its radical allies, on the other hand, were the ones achieving this victory (illegally, one might add), the media might view this issue somewhat differently.