Ground offensive nears, Turkey and Saudi jostle for position as media sweet talks Assad

All roads lead here. There are growing signs that a ground offensive in Syria is very near and the ground work to ensure the public is on-side is being laid in the media. 

Today Sky News released a report that is written in a way unlike anything before it. Consider that the media has always shown Syria and its leader Assad in a negative light, the instigator, the one that must go above all else, the dictator that massacres his own people. 

Then consider the report from Sky News today. 

The report states: “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 100 rebel fighters have been killed in the government offensive launched (on Aleppo) on Monday.”

“More than 60 regime troops have also died in the operation, which has been backed by Russian airstrikes.

“..In the footage, fighters and residents waved the Syrian and Hezbollah flags, and some chanted pro-regime slogans, including “God, Syria, Bashar and nothing else,” in reference to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.”

“The two villages had been under attack by rebels since 2012 and reaching them has been a goal of the government, which has also sought to cut off key rebel supply routes into Aleppo.”

The report went to to talk of the Syrian Army in a positive light which clearly unusual. There is no suggestion that the reports of the crowds cheering their liberation are false. The article does not even try to refute this. 

(It should be noted that we first saw this article around 14.00 hours today near to the time this article was released. Since then the article has been updated at around 16.00 hours and it does appear to have been watered down somewhat in its original positivity towards Assad. However without visual proof of this it is hard for us to show you or prove this, all the same the article is still largely positive with the exception of a few seemingly added ‘comments’ from Turkey and the U.S.) 

The question initially arose “why would mainstream media begin reporting on Assad in a positive light?” 

Had America and its allies decided that backing Assad now will bring an end to the refugee crisis? Will it bring an end to the war far more quickly? It would, but then what’s in it for the US and its allies? After more than a year of arming and backing the rebels it would look odd now to start backing Assad. So how would you start supporting the regime in Syria without losing face?

Cue stories in the mainstream media of Syrian army success stories. Show them as liberators, then when the West starts backing the Syrian army the public will support the move and forget all about siding with the Rebels. 

But then something else came to light on reading further news coverage today. All signs point to a ground invasion, yes it’s been suggested for a while but this may be the closest we have come to it being a reality. The public have to be on-side with a ground offensive. Goverenments can’t afford for their people to second guess a ground invasion, after all certainly with the UK government it’s what people had been calling for instead of air strikes. David Cameron though had said that he would not send troops into Syria, that it would be left to regional forces. Well, he said Rebel forces but I think even he now recognises that it’s not going to happen with the collapse of the peace talks in Geneva. Perhaps a ground offensive by Western troops will be the only option but how to get around the public concern?

Build a narrative. Build a picture that actually shows the West supporting Assad in his fight against the rebels and ISIL forces. 

The heat has been turned up to resolve the crisis in Syria with the news today that Libya is fast becoming a recruiting ground for ISIL forces with estimated insurgents on the rise. Libya in case you hadn’t noticed has gone backwards in recent days and the fears are that there will after all be no peaceful solution to Libya. 

Add to that the fear that Afghanistan is also believed to be becoming more and more unstable and is also likely to become a heavy recruiting centre for ISIL, it’s now imperative that Syria is sorted, and quickly. 

There are one or two remaining factors to mention in all of this. Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

Saudi Arabia today has openly stated it is ready to send in troops in a ground offensive and other reports suggest that Turkey is ready to send in troops from its side although it denies this. 

It is unclear though whether Turkey would be fighting against ISIL, Rebel forces the Syrian Army or Kurdish forces or a mix of all of them. Turkey is said to be outraged that the Syrian Army have displaced more Syrians from Aleppo today of which 70,000 are thought to be headed towards the Turkish border. Turkey though has been accused of allowing ISIL fighters safe passage via the key supply line between it and Aleppo, the very town that was liberated by the Syrian Army today. 

So what is Turkeys intention? Russia appears concerned. 

Of course Turkey is meant to be within NATO and part of the coalition forces, is Turkey about to go off script perhaps with the help of Saudi Arabia? Will the ground offensive be in the name of freeing towns from ISIL and in the process getting Russia on board? 

Or has a secret deal already been prepared in that the coalition will help liberate Syria from Rebel forces in exchange for Assad stepping down afterwards. This would allow all parties to save their reputations and the coalition getting exactly what they wanted, regime change. 

There are so many variables it is hard to pin point exactly how this will pan out but one thing is fairly certain, the ground offensive is very near and the narrative in the press has now changed. 

(Source links provided within the text above) 

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