MENASource|News, Analysis, Perspectives

February 4, 2016
In the second installment of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center Podcast, Senior Fellows Aaron Stein and Faysal Itani discuss the implications of the latest Syrian regime gains on the battle field and the potential impact on US-Turkish relations, the anti-ISIS coalition, and the negotiations in Geneva.

The recent developments in the Syria conflict do not bode well for the Syrian opposition and will likely scuttle the peace negotiations in the near term. The Syrian regime and Hezbollah, backed by Russian airstrikes, cut off the main rebel supply line to Turkey on February 3, dealing major blow to insurgency. Aleppo seemed a surprise objective in late 2015, but now the recent success allows regime forces to either retake the city or move north to deal more damage to the now isolated rebel pockets. Cutting the supply line allows further besieging and starvation tactics to crush any resistance to President Bashar al-Assad and sets up a scenario that Syria watchers have long warned about: that the Syrian regime has placed itself as the only alternative to ISIS.