The Syrian Offensive Resumes
On Sunday, April 7, the Syrian 4th Division went on the offensive in and around Aleppo with massive airstrikes pummeling the rebels like never before (as well as civilians). Syrian forces recaptured a key town of Aziza on a strategicv road that links Aleppo with its airport and military bases. Also, after 10 days of fighting, the Syrian forces retook a key town from where they can conduct artillery barrages and to secure part of the highway that ferry supplies to its bases near the airport. The division’s armored units cornered the rebel forces which had massed in the Ghouta suburb ready to take the center of Damascus, as well. In Daria and the Sayida Zainab, the rebels were surprised while preparing to storm the international airport when they saw the Syrian forces driving toward them. It is suspected that either Iranian or Russian advisors planned the offensive because of the tactics used and because it is the largest-scale military operation to be seen on the battlefield. The rebels fought back with a suicide car bomb attack in the Sabaa Bahrat Square of central Damascus killing 15 people.
The Syrian offensive may be a warning of sorts because before it, the Syrian army was unable to stop the rebel advance on Damascus. According to some sources, had this attack NOT been effective at pushing the rebels back, Assad was going to use his chemical weapons on them. The Syrians also routed the rebels along the Jordanian border for the time being.
But, I think, Assad has only bought some more time. It could be his last gasp of using conventional forces. The next time it will be chemical weapons.