Since the liberation of Aleppo, there have been a broad swathe of terrorist attacks across Syria. A truck bomb was detonated at a checkpoint in Latakia killing numerous women and children. The water supply to Damascus has been shut down by Al Nusra Front militants since around Christmas. There was a massive attack against the SAA in West Hama which was repelled by the SAA, A large gas company outside Homs was blown up resulting in millions of people in Homs and Damascus (where there is no drinking water) going without heat. In Deir Ezzor ISIS has 5 year olds murdering captured soldiers. No Kidding. They filmed it.
These are desperate actions, not strategic ones. Yes, it is a temporary problem that has the SAA, once again, overextended. But, there is no reason to think that these actions would cause the government to back down. How can they relinquish control when the civilians they protect are going without water and heat. They have no choice but to retake those areas as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Since Al Nusra or ISIS is involved in every case, the cease-fire does not apply.
In summary, opposition forces, terrorists, whatever you want to call them have responded to their defeat by vicious attacks om the civilian population of government held areas, by far the majority of the Syrian people. The Americans have been shut out of the negotiations Russia is holding to try an rein in the renegade Turkish President. They didn’t bother with the Saudis either. They want to get Mr. Erdogan to close the border. The US has swallowed the insult but are now fighting closer to the Syrian allies than previously.
The Ugly hews is that the US has drones flying over Idlib. Up till now they have been confined to the ISIS controlled north eastern provinces.So. there must be some rapprochement. Suddenly the US is busy killing Al Nusra commanders in Idlib. And, for what it’s worth, they are killing one another. Now there’s a strategy. Take all the psychopaths and lock them in a closet. An interesting move..
The good news is that the Iraqi army and affiliated militias are moving towards the Syrian border to cut ISIS supply lines. The bonus is that ISIS fighters will no longer be able to escape into Syria.