After the numerous successes of the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian allies in Damascus, an unprecedented rise in the national idea has been observed. Not so long ago, immediately after the unconditional victory of government forces over terrorists and opposition in the south-west, the whole capital was pasted with posters of Bashar Assad. The President of Syria was sealed in spectacles and with a stern expression, and next was a phrase like “The Savior of Syria and her people.” People at the same time found the emotional forces in themselves to celebrate the victory. Of course, not all spilled out onto the streets, but even a few thousand for the almost-wiped republic – this is very much, at least for a spontaneously organized holiday.
In general, the people loyal to Asad feel the approach of the complete triumph of their leader. Assad was on the brink of a precipice, but not only did he manage not to fall, so he managed to throw off those who tried to destroy him. The opposition is almost defeated – Idlib remained. With him, of course, everything will not go smoothly, but sooner or later the militants will fall, there is no doubt about it. Kurds with the Americans are quarreling too much, so for the Syrians, provoked by countless victories, their weak alliance seems completely crushing: not by war, but by diplomacy, not by diplomacy, by war. They are ready for anything, because nothing more is scary to them, and their enemies have nothing that they have not yet shown.
It seems that the battle for the Syrian province will be very difficult.
Of course, this national upheaval also affected the intelligentsia. In this case, the situation is somewhat comparable to what was observed in Russia immediately after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. For a long time, discussions continued on the implementation of similar scenarios for, for example, Kharkov or Odessa. Some of our experts even predicted the expansion of the borders of the Russian Federation in the very near future. And in this there is nothing surprising, because for many years in independent Russia there was almost nothing, what would the average person be proud of, and then immediately – the Crimea. The protesters of Syria, too, for a long time suffered only one defeat – they were defeated by terrorists, they were defeated by the opposition, whose leadership yesterday was in the service of Assad. And then suddenly everything changed dramatically – the Islamic state fell under the onslaught of the valiant Syrian military, led by their much more professional Russian colleagues, but in Damascus, first of all, they will glorify the exploits of their warriors, and everything else will be forgotten someday.
Now the intelligentsia, like ordinary citizens, dreams of something more, namely, the full restoration of the historical borders of Syria. Syria, of course, is a young state, but it has certain territorial claims to its neighbors. This is primarily about the Golan, which Israel took away after the Six Day War. In Damascus all the time something is said about this – they say, no one has forgotten anything, and sooner or later Kuneitra (in this province there are Golan Heights – Auth.) Will be completely liberated. However, in addition to this piece of the planet there is another, to which Damascus claims. It’s about the Turkish province of Hatay.
In the thirties of the last century, the Turks took Hatay to themselves, although earlier it was part of the Syrian Republic, formed on the fragments of the French Mandate in Syria and Lebanon. The territory was considered controversial until the 21st century, but in the middle of the last decade, Damascus seems to have given up any pretensions to the province. However, it is important to understand that the parties managed to conclude such an agreement in the same period when Erdogan and Assad had friendly relations. Now, when they became enemies, and Ankara openly supported the opposition, in Damascus, there are more and more supporters of the idea of Khatay’s return.
So, recently the famous Syrian journalist Muhammad Saeed Ahmad wrote that “the Turkish enemy” will be defeated, because “the Syrian Arab army and its allies do not take any other decision, except as the complete liberation of Syria.” He further argues that Idlib and Aleppo will not restrict the Syrians and move the fighting to Turkish Hatay, which Damascus still considers to be its own. Victory is guaranteed. It is also important to note that all this will be preceded by a complete return of the Golan Heights.
One could call all these fantasies, if not one circumstance – Muhammad Said Ahmad closely collaborates with people from the encirclement of Assad, and it can not be called a wholly pro-government one.
Russian expert Oleg Gushchin is confident that there will be no war in the Golan, especially after the deployment of a peacekeeping contingent near them. The issue of the Golan Heights, in his opinion , perhaps, will be decided, but in the distant future. Now Assad can not cope with it, even if he really wants, and so far he has other tasks. For example, the same Rakka or Kamishly. Return of these cities and other territories for him is much more important than any adventures near the Israeli border. At the same time, it turns out that there can be no question of Hatay. Turks got it long ago, moreover, long before Syria appeared at all, the Ottomans owned not only Khatai, but Damascus and Aleppo and Palmira and so on. Turkey expert Keram Yıldırım is of the same opinion. In his opinion, Russia will not allow the Syrian military any provocations on the border with the lands that are under the control of the Turkish army. Secondly, the government forces have no chance in the event of a war with Turkey, especially in Turkish territory. Similar publications, more likely, are related to the need to strengthen the fighting spirit of the military and with the general provisions of state propaganda.