The last few weeks have witnessed a further retreat of regime forces and pro-regime Iranian-funded militias from a significant number of strategic locations. After losing Idleb, the regime forfeited the strategic Jisr al-Shughur, which makes the journey of opposition forces to Lattakia shorter and easier.
The retreat of regime troops and its allied Iranian militias in the south continues, where it lost more locations in each of Daraa and Qunietra, also making the road to Damascus for opposition forces shorter and easier. The regime’s circumstances were no better in Qalamoun and Eastern Ghouta, only a few kilometers from Damascus.
Moreover, we have seen a further collapse of the Syrian pound with the Central Bank losing its ability to support the national currency, aggravating the crisis for most Syrian people. The regime has lost its capacity to pay salaries of the so-called National Defense Militia. The money provided by Iran to support the tyrant's economy and his war has began to decline gradually, as the Iranian economy faces UN sanctions of its own and a drop in oil prices. Many Iranians have begun to complain about the billions sent to support a tyrant who kills his people, while Iranian living conditions decline.
Then came Operation Decisive Storm, and the desire and efforts of the Gulf countries to face Iranian expansion in the region. The operation suggests these efforts will not be limited to Yemen, but could begin to restore the Arab role in the region, confronting Iranian hegemony in Syria as well. The Gulf countries' increase in the militarization and funding of Syrian opposition forces is likely to continue and may even increase further with the advance of the opposition and simultaneous retreat of regime forces and pro-regime Iranian militias. This may justify the conclusion that we are probably in front of the final chapter of the rule of Assad's family in Syria, with the demise of their reign of tyranny, corruption and criminality.
If this reading is true, what then is the role of Syria’s political opposition in everything that is happening? The political aspect of the role of the opposition is almost non-existent.
What is needed now, from all Syria’s lovers and those who believe in the unity of its land and people, is a unity that will not be possible except through a free, democratic and pluralistic state that respects and safeguards the rights of all citizens. A state with a constitution that does not discriminate between Syrians with all their various political, religious and ethnic affiliations, and ensures the rights and freedoms to all. What is required from these people now is to place the perceptions of what could happen in the next day of this collapse – which is no longer improbable if events continue to evolve at the same pace. They should plan for the alternatives and potential scenarios, they should create a clear program to address the implications of this collapse so that we avoid as much chaos as possible, as we know that chaos is inevitable after the collapse of a fascist and totalitarian regime with all the devastation and destruction they inflict before their fall.
Time no longer serves the free Syria which our martyrs dreamed of and which our colleagues in the cellars of the tyrant and millions of our people in asylums or refugee camps still dream of.
Today, Syria is divided between the criminal tyranny and the bloody fundamentalists, so the Syrian elites must work on immediate cooperation in order to form a force to pressure regional and international powers to avoid the impacts of this impending collapse. They have to do that is needed to save the unity of Syria and its people, and prevent it from falling into chronic chaos, as happened in Afghanistan and Somalia.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer