"Second Aleppo", "Moscow's new crime", "festival of inhuman cruelty" - these are examples of recent information warfare shots directed toward Russia. Now in the western media the last of them sound: the fate of the long-suffering Eastern Huta is solved, the parts located there have already visited Bashar Assad. But now Russia faces a new problem.
By the second half of Tuesday, the long-suffering East Guta has already been liberated by 75%, and the number of civilians who have taken advantage of the corridors for safe exit and morning humanitarian breaks is growing exponentially.
The Ahrar al-Sham group actually capitulated and without a fight surrendered a large settlement of Harast and the area around it in exchange for a "ticket to Idlib". At the same time, the group "Jaysh al-Islam" negotiated the negotiations. Russian representatives invited them to leave the city Duma - the largest point inside East Hutia - on the same terms. Bidding lasted all night, but did not lead to anything. But we must understand that from the "Jaysh al-Islam" Russian negotiators demanded, among other things, to hand over heavy weapons and release all prisoners and prisoners.
After breaking the talks, "Jaysh al-Islam" tried to organize a series of suicidal counterattacks near the towns of Al-Shafuniya and Mesrab. After that government forces were forced to resume the attack on the Duma with the aim not so much to seize the city itself as to force the jihadists to return to negotiations. Nobody is interested in killing all of them in such quantities.
Nevertheless, some European media resumed battles in the Duma area was perceived as "the beginning of the assault of Eastern Huts". This is stupidity and propaganda, because no "assault" in an environment where everything is almost over, simply can not be. At the moment, practically all the large settlements of Eastern Guta (with the exception of the same Duma) in one form or another have already passed under the control of Damascus. The sweeps are now going on in settlements that are in the deep rear of the jihadists, while pro-government forces prefer not to force events.
The opposition is still trying to provide the group "Failak Ar-Rahman", with which negotiations on surrender are also continuing. In the night from Monday to Tuesday, its militants also interrupted the negotiations, after which the government troops took the town of Khaza in the vicinity of Kafr Batna and blocked the Ain Tarma Valley, a well-fortified suburb that the Syrian army had repeatedly tried to repel in frontal attacks.
The fate of East Guta has actually been resolved, and there is no need to carry out "assaults" or use any other forms of massive violence. Even for those who intentionally disrupted negotiations, they simply use a demonstration of force in one or another key direction, after which the negotiations are resumed.
But there are incidents. For example, in the southern cauldron, one part of which is negotiating for delivery, and the other is controlled by the remains of the IGIL *, a subdivision of the government army was ambushed in the town of al-Qadam. So far, the city remains behind the SAA, the troops have been sent help, and it is already clear that there will be no negotiations with the Islamists on this site.
The negotiation scheme involving Russian specialists and dosed pressure in case of disruption of the dialogue in the current situation works very well. The other day, under the control of government forces without a fight, the large Beit Jin settlement and the area around it, including the key heights, crossed. Now militants from those places are also waiting for buses to Idlib, no specific violence against them was used.
In such a situation, the output of civilians from the settlements still controlled by militants took the character of the outcome. In most of Eastern Guta, Islamists have already stopped persecuting civilians or trying to keep it by force. The exception is the same Duma - the largest and by area, and the population of the city and the already mentioned enclave with IGIL to the south of Damascus. It seems that they will still have to use force there, but the government troops completely abandoned the use of aviation and heavy artillery.
During the month that went to the liberation of East Guta, success was achieved, surpassing the scale of the operation in Aleppo, although outwardly they do not look so spectacular. Now humanitarian problems come to the fore - the same ones that are in Aleppo or Deir ez-Zor: people need to be fed and heated, and by filtration of the population engaged in the residual principle.
Noncombatants are really in a terrible state, they have been undernourished for months (if not years) and have not received medical care. However, the textbook question "What have you been doing the last five years?" Should be asked sooner or later.
This is an old problem that is not directly related to the negotiation process, but which can affect the future structure of the country. Reconciliation of the parties to the conflict must imply some responsibility, but not a collective one - strictly selective. And this implies a long and very difficult work for such societies as Syria.
Of course, the future of Syria is determined by the Syrians themselves, but so far, the Russian side, through the Center for Reconciliation and Military Police, has been forced to deal with this kind of humanitarian circumstances. The government in Damascus has not yet expressed any clear thoughts on this matter, and Bashar Assad did not attend the refugee camps.
His departure to Guta on the front line made an impression: the president himself sat behind the wheel of the car with a minimum of protection, although he was passing through still not completely cleaned areas. But the morale in the 4 division as well as in Hezbollah (the location of these units arrived on the eve of Assad) is already quite high. But with the demoralized and lost population of Eastern Guta, as well as some other areas where jihadists had long been in power, they will have to do something. Russia alone will not equip everyone. In the end, it's not her citizens.