Channel 2 television's veteran Arab affairs expert, Ehud Yaari, probably the most respected Middle East expert in the Middle East, is predicting that the end of the Assad regime in Syria is near.
The Syria rebels and the ISIS forces have had a series of accomplishments lately, writes Yaari, and Assad has not been in worse shape since the cruel civil war began four years ago. The forces opposing him have made advances in the north, south and east, his military force is dwindling and his ability to deal with the challenges facing him is “very limited.”
Assad has lost the ability to move his forces from one theater of fighting to another, and has sustained heavy losses, according to the expert. Iran sent Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Afghanistan to assist the Syria army, but these have not shown a meaningful fighting ability. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has not been able to make meaningful advances at the Kalamoun Mountain area, despite heavy fighting.
The Syrian army is fighting on five fronts, according to Yaari:
- Haska: ISIS is attacking the northeastern provincial city and is only 5 kilometers away from it.
- Aleppo: the largest Syrian city is under attack by both ISIS and the rebels. ISIS has taken control of the supply route that leads to Turkey, in the northwestern part of Syria.
- Homs: rebels are attacking the city that has been dubbed 'the Capital of the Revolution'
- Druze Mountain: ISIS are at the outskirts of the plateau next to the border with Jordan.
- Daraa: the 'capital of the south,' next to the Jordanian border, is coming under heavy rebel attack.
“De facto, the Syrian army has ceased to exist,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Israel Defense Forces’ deputy chief of staff, said on Monday.
Assad will soon have to make “a difficult decision that will determine how the rest of the fighting will proceed,” estimated Yaari. According to some reports, the Syrian top command is preparing a plan for holing itself in at several holdouts in the west of the country.
Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, declared Wednesday that his country “will stand by the nation and government in Syria until the end of the road.”