In this article, via War on the Rocks, Rodger Shanahan discusses the surrender of rebel forces to the regime in the Syrian city of Daraa. The recapture of such a strategic objective reflects the momentum the Asaad Government has enjoyed since Russia began providing their support.
According to the author, the fall of Daraa demonstrates a lack of leverage/interest from the Trump administration, as it was one of the de-escalation zones negotiated between Russia and the US. According to the US state department ‘there would be ‘firm and appropriate measures’ if President Assad violated the de-escalation zone’; however, this never eventuated. Such inaction from the US has signalled to the rebel leaders not to factor US assistance into their decision making.
The author concludes that the appearance of a loss of interest by the US (who will eventually leave) may in fact result in Daraa having more relevance in ‘extinguishing the flame that sparked the revolution’. As such, this article provides food for thought regarding the importance of strategic considerations, including the ramifications of supporting local allied forces, in future wars.