It is true that unless Iran took a strategic decision to save the regime of Bashar Assad, he wouldn’t be able to celebrate the New Year of 2013.
Had it not been for Iran's hired regional militias, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, Assad would not have remained in his palace. This explains the state of elation and bragging among Iran's military leaders, such as the commander of the Air Force, that Iran was the one who prevented the fall of Assad's regime.
This motivated Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, to repeat this view in the same week in his speech to the Lebanese as-Safir newspaper, although Nasrallah added that the mistake was not in the intervention of his militia in the Syrian war, but that the intervention was late.
This seems to have sparked a quarrel between the friends, as although it is true, it carried an insult and embarrassment to Assad and his army.
Syrian Presidential Advisor, Bouthaina Shaaban, said the victory is thanks to Assad's army, implying it is not because of iontervention form Iran or Hezbollah.
Later, the Syrian regime imposed restrictions on the Iranian and pro-Iranian TV stations in their coverage of the battles to prevent them from attributing the victories to themselves and embarrass Assad and his army.
Some observers went further by saying that the Syrian regime has masterminded the killing of the journalists of pro-Hezbollah Al-Manar TV channel, who went to the battlefields without a government license, while covering the events in Maaloula.
But the real question is not who is credited with the victory, but whether Assad's regime has really won? The president claims so, Nasrallah echoes the claim, and the military leaders of Iran say that it was their decision.
The U.S. State Department, as usual, has stated a circulous statement, in which it said that it does not agree with what Assad said, and that it does not want to speculate on how the war will end. This is a statement that has no understandable meaning.
Despite the distribution of treats, and despite the cheers of victory in Damascus, Tehran, Moscow and the suburbs of Hezbollah in Lebanon, I would say that Assad has the right to celebrate his victory in Syria as much as the U.S. can celebrate its victory in Afghanistan. These are temporary victories, and the end will be different, because the facts on the ground are stronger than the results of temporary battles.
First, Assad's forces and the militias of his allies do not control more than only one-third of Syria today, and even in this third, they are not in full control. If Assad's forces decided to continue the war in the vast territory of the country, they will eventually become more exhausted than they are today.
The operation will take a long time even for the foreign forces loyal to Assad, such as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Lebanese Hezbollah , the Iraqi battalions and the other militias from different countries.
It's a serious war of attrition for all the participants, except for Al-Qaeda, which holds the spirit of suicide, and most of its members came without a return ticket, intending to fight to death.
Secondly, the facts have changed on the ground, and the relationship between the regime and the people is not the same. The Syrian army, which remained under the command of Assad, has diminished considerably as a result of defections and of the casualties during three years of war.
On the other hand, Assad and his army and his security forces and allies are now representing a small sectarian minority controls a large majority, as seventy percent of the Syrian people are Sunni. This shift in the view of the Syrian citizen was due to the blind, and massive murder. It changed the former Baathist concepts about a regime that has many common ideas with many of its citizens.
This state of hostility will make war against the regime last until it falls. In my view, the exhausted regime will fall before that, because it became completely dependent on its allies, and it will remain carried on the shoulders of the Iranian regime and its militias.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer