The war of attrition between ISIS and the Kurdish People's Protection Units will not affect the battle of the Syrian army, which is heading from the south towards ISIS strongholds in Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
News emerging from these regions clearly indicates that the Syrian army is moving according to a plan and specific program.
The decision from Damascus will become public during the next few days, or perhaps hours. Most likely it will ask Iran or Russia to conduct air raids on the Ayn al-Arab region. In this case, Iranian or Russian troops may conduct an airdrop operation to support the forces fighting there.
Furthermore, Russia will convince Ankara to secure the path for the volunteer Kurdish fighters from Turkey to cross the border in order to help their brothers in Ayn al-Arab. The logistical support for this operation will be provided according to signed treaties between Damascus, Moscow and Tehran.
If this happens, it will be the beginning of the end for the crisis in the northern and eastern regions of Syria. Rather than revealing any weakness in the efficiency of Syrian army, such a move would show Assad's ability to build strong alliances and preserve relations with the resistance axis countries as well as great powers like Russia and China.
This is a strategic victory that cannot be underestimated, and it reflects Assad's deep understanding of the correct course of action in Ayn al-Arab. Assad will achieve many goals by this step.
Firstly, he avoids a political suicide by a military operation against the alliance forces, ISIS and other militias at the same time. Secondly, he corrects his authority's political image.Thirdly, he shows that the Syrian blood is not cheap. Fourthly, he obliges the alliance countries to play their political role in defending a country that preserves their political and strategic survival in the international decision-making circles.
Finally, this step would give the Syrian army the chance to conduct its planned military missions without rushing into a common military operation with the alliance in order to avoid any political conflict with the so-called "Syrian opposition".
We can conclude that the decisive point in the Ayn al-Arab battle will occur in the next 48 hours. If the city falls to ISIS, there will be a massacre, and this massacre will provide an excuse to the American-led alliance to achieve other goals in the region, as the fall of Ayn al-Arab will legitimate a ground operation inside Syria to topple the regime, deconstruct the resistance axis and imprison the Russian bear inside Moscow.
But Assad can still surprise America by taking a political position that turns things upside down for Washington; the president's patience towards the political and field developments in Ayn al-Arab seems to be hiding something. The question, then, is what is Assad hiding?
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer