Retired BGen to ST: Terrorist Groups and Their Operators Have Failed to Change Balance of Power on Ground

Military and strategic expert, retired Brigadier-General Haitham Hassoun has underscored that the failure of terrorist groups and their operators in Ghouta battle has undermined their plot to make the Syrian state offer concessions in Geneva and Astana talks and to move its forces from the main fronts in Idlib and in the south and west of Damascus.

 He told the Syriatimes newspaper that the terrorist groups and their operators sought to force the Syrian army to leave Eastern Ghouta of Damascus and to connect defense lines between Mdira, Erbin and Harasta areas to reach Damascus-Homs road in order to create a new situation on the ground to put further pressure on Syria during Astana and Sochi talks.

 “The terrorist groups in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus have lost important positions near Damascus after the Syrian army broke the siege on vehicles management base in Harasta area and started to expand safe areas around the base,” the military expert added.

He underlined that the Liberation of Harasta area from terrorist groups is connected with the liberation of all areas in the Ghouta, so this necessitates a big military operation because all terrorist groups there are carrying out their operations in accordance with orders from one military operation center.

“I think that the military operation in the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus will be postponed till the end of battles in Idlib in order to mobilize required forces for this operation. But I think that the Syrian army will go ahead with carrying out tactical attacks against terrorist groups there,” the BGen said.

He indicated that the Syrian army fight terrorist groups in dozens of fronts in the eastern and southern countryside of Damascus, Idlib, North of Aleppo, western and southwestern countryside of Aleppo, northern countryside of Hama, Quneitra, Daraa and north of Homs.

The retired officer also referred to the postponement of the military operation in areas held by the US-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’, north of Euphrates.

As for the recent Israeli aggression on Syria, the military expert said that this aggression comes within the framework of exchanging roles with terrorists and to send a message to Syria and its allies that Israel "won’t knuckle under current changes on the ground".

He affirmed that the Syrian air defense system’s response to the Israeli attacks mean that the Syrian army is restoring its capability in the field of air defense.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

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