When the Syrian Leadership took the irreversible decision to liberate Khan Shaykhoun and the neighboring areas of southern Idleb, all potential risks were taken into account.
However, the incessant violations by the radicalterrorists holed up in that area made its liberation an inevitable top priority.
Therefore, the Syrian leadership worked patiently, prudently and with utmost wisdom to surmount all potential obstacles hindering the liberation of this area.
Planning for the liberation of Khan Shaykhoun was not restricted to the military aspect. The grave risk of getting into direct confrontation with the Turkish army was prudently averted.
Let us remember that the conspirators of the war on Syria have been “dreaming” of such an eventuality. In a study published by the Brookings Institution few years ago, the conspirators were planning to put Syria into a “pincer-like” situation where Turkey and Israel would attack from two side simultaneously.
This sinister plan, was in fact, a ruse to fool Turkey and lure it into a long and exhaustive war with Syria. They were planning to re-run the Iraq-Iran war scenario to exhaust both countries. Hence comes the significance of the Syrian Leadership’s wisdom, prudence, patience and vision that enabled it to foil such a vile conspiracy and avoid such a catastrophic eventuality with the minimal possible losses and/or casualties.
The Syrian leadership’s wisdom and competence was also demonstrated in the military aspect.
Khan Shaykhoun lies within the areas designated by Astana as a “de-escalation zone” and according to these understanding Turkey has had some “observation posts”supposedly to rein in and control the outlawed and notorious militants.
But Turkey has failed to honor its obligations as a “guarantor”. Turkey, for instance, has done nothing when these terrorists incessantly fired projectiles at the civilian towns and villages in Lattakia and Hama countryside, especially the towns of Mhardeh and Sqaylbiyah.
It has done nothing to stop the hostile and reckless attacks conducted by these terrorists even at the Russian positions in Humeimim airport in Lattakia.
The terrorists had more than once attacked the vicinity of Humeimim airport with drones.
These vicious attacks prompted the Syrian Leadership to give the liberation of these areas a high priority, no matter how difficult the mission might be.
The help rendered by the Russian allies have also been of great significance in supporting the Syrian decision.
During his recent visit to France, President Vladimir Putin discussed this issue with the French President Emanuel Macron making it crystal clear that this area should be cleansed from terror groups.
When the Syrian Arab Army began its advance to cleanse these areas from terrorism, the Turks were upset. They launched a ferocious media campaign and issued many threats in order to halt the progress of the Syrian Army.
They complained to the Russians. But the Russian response was an unswerving support for Syria’s rightful move to clear the area from terrorism and put an end to this unacceptable situation, especially because Turkey has failed to honor its obligations and commitments.
On the military aspect, the Syrian leadership acted with wisdom and unhesitant decisiveness. The strategies were prudently charted and the operations were conducted with a superb competence.
The message was perfectly clear: The decision to liberate these areas has been taken and would not be reversed. The strategies were also well-studied in order to minimize any potential casualties and/or losses.
The militants have had massed up their forces and have had built a lot of fortifications in preparation for a long fight and confrontation. But the Syrian army did not proceed to a head-on collision.
Instead, the Syrian forces moved in a different direction and managed to besiege the militants in their strongholds, cutting thereby all lines of logistical and/or military supplies.
Once they have been besieged, the terrorists asked for help from Turkey, which sent convoys of supplies in a bid to rescue them.
On August 19, a large Turkish military convoy (at least 28 pieces of military equipment, including battle tanks) entered the Syrian territories andmade its way to the town of Saraqeb in eastern Idleb moving towards Khan Shaykhoun.
At this point, Syria issued a strong statement of condemnation and backed up the official statement with action: The Syrian Air force carried out warning strikes near the convoy to stop their provocative advance.
According to some media reports, at least one field commander of the militants accompanying the convoy was killed. Anyway, the convoy stopped and went back to Turkey.
After laying a siege on the terrorist-held areas, Syria opened a humanitarian corridor to help civilians vacate the area and to allow those willing to leave peacefully a window to do so.
Even after capturing Khan Shaykhoun, Syria has not officially announced the news until Friday, August 23.
By that time, many other towns and villages were also liberated. Engineering teams were deployed to demine the area and defuse any explosives or ordnance left over by the fleeing terrorists.
What a clean and legendary victory attained by Syria and its heroic Army! It was legendary and miraculous.
It was history in the making, where the art of diplomacy and politics moved smoothly, skillfully and harmoniously in tandem with military decisiveness and strategic planning.
Congratulations Syria …