Syria: the last frontier under ISIS control
A few days ago, speaking on Syrian national TV, President of Syria Bashar al-Assad stated that his army had to leave a part of the country to preserve the most important directions, as they didn't have enough forces to protect all the territories. According to the RG, at the moment the Syrian government army controls 25-40 percent of Syrian territory. However, Damascus is in control of the most populated and developed regions of the country. At the same time, the radicals’ advance (for example, the extremist groups of the al-Nusra Front and Islamic State) is continuing. Assad’s army has lost some of the provinces in the northwest and south. Moreover, Islamic State has occupied the renowned city of Palmyra.
The head of a department of the CIS Countries Institute, Vladimir Yevseyev, reminds that the Syrian army is already in the fifth year of the war: “It is exhausted, it is really hard for them. Moreover, it's not that they do not have enough weapons, weapons can be supplied. There are just not enough people who will be able to protect the Syrian people. The economy was based on oil production in the past; these fields are almost all controlled by the Islamists; tourism, which has practically ceased to operate in the conditions of war; agriculture, which is largely destroyed.”
Damascus explains the successes of the opposition is due to support from other states, which are much more powerful and wealthy than Syria. Yevseyev confirms this: “There were occasions when weapons were dropped to the Islamists. Essentially, it is not a fight, it is help for the Islamists, quite clearly. And it was given by the United States. In these conditions, it would be highly desirable that such nations friendly to Syria as Russia will help it.. It is not such a large amount of money. It is about one billion dollars. We need to provide not just humanitarian help for Syria, it is necessary to provide financial assistance, so that it would survive in such difficult conditions. It is not enough to simply assist and give military-technical cooperation, supply weapons, ammunition.”
Yevseyev thinks that China can also help in this regard, because in fact we are not talking about some astronomical sums. “Syria truly needs these funds now, but not to fight with them, but for the population, in Damascus, for example, to somehow live, because there is really no work there and it is extremely hard for them,” the expert thinks.
Sergei Lukyanov, the deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, believes that the Persian Gulf countries should “pray” for Bashar Assad. “Syria is their last frontier of security. If Assad’s regime fails, the next target for Islamic State will be Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries… There are about 5 thousand Saudi citizens in ISIS. When the war is over, they will return to their homeland. What can they do? They can only kill.”