For weeks, the defenders of Qusair have valiantly held off the combined forces of thousands of Hezbollah militiamen supported by Assad’s air force, artillery & heavy armour.
Some pundits and Assad apologists are now foolishly clamoring to proclaim that Qusair falling signifies Assad “winning the war”. Have they not learned anything yet?
Assad (and allies) have played what could be their last major card – overt foreign intervention – “boots on the ground”, to temporarily alter frontlines prior to Geneva 2. However it is a short-term gamble that will have major ramifications for the long-term.
In committing itself to direct ground operations, Hezbollah has shattered it’s myth of “resistance”. Their leadership is further exposed as Iranian proxies. Their rank and file exposed as ideological hypocrites and willing occupiers. Their invincibility as fighters diminished.
Unleashing thousands of foreign militiamen (from Lebanon, Iraq and beyond) to replace Assad’s exhausted and outstretched army will result in short-term gains on the battlefield. They will not however be able to occupy indefinitely towns filled with bitter and resentful Syrians who are fiercely defiant.
The betrayal felt by Syrians will have a more long lasting impact. Afterall, it is the Syrian people who opened up their homes to Lebanese fleeing Israeli bombardment only 7 years ago (see picture above). Hezbollah’s actions in Qusair, Ghouta and Aleppo, will not be forgiven nor forgotten. Sadly, all of Lebanon will soon feel the blowback from Hezbollah’s “strategic calculations”.
The entire world has been complicit in creating the situation Syria finds herself in today – from Assad’s friends who arm, fund, supply fighters and provide diplomatic cover to the self-serving “friends of Syria” who have done all in their power to withhold real and tangible support for the revolution. Along with an incompetent and increasingly irrelevant political opposition, these factors have delayed the inevitable – at a tremendous cost.
Despite this, the message from Syrians will continue to be loud and clear – the revolution cannot be quelled – only delayed. Until Victory.