Vast areas in Syria’s Idlib Governorate have been little more than hardened colonies of terrorist activity for at least five years and in some parts of Idlib for as many as seven. After the liberation of Deiz ez-Zor, the general pacification of the Golan and the liberation of Aleppo city in 2016, Idlib remains one of the last major pockets of Takfiri activity in the country.
Because of the density of heavily armed terrorist enclaves, Idlib was always going to be a battle that could only be won through the use of large scale aerial bombardment. This message was made clear when a Russian Su-25 fighter jet was shot down over Idlib by Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra terrorists in possession of MANPADS. While Russian authorities continue to investigate the origin of the MANPADS which downed the jet, it is already suspected by many Russian officials that the weapons are American in origin.
The downing of the Su-25 and the subsequent death of its pilot have made it abundantly clear that only the most consistent and sustained use of force against the Takfiri terrorists of Idlib will be able to finally pacify Syria’s dark governorate. During the evening of the 4th of February and into the morning of the 5th, Russian Aerospace Forces pounded Idlib through a series of heavy airstrikes designed to eviscerate the well established Al-Qaeda bases in the region.
Speaking of Russia’s airstrikes in Idlib, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated,
“They [the strikes] were provoked by a tragic accident, when our plane was shot down by terrorists, the pilot died as a hero, we all offer our condolences to the pilot’s relatives and friends and are proud of our heroes. Naturally, this tragic incident was followed up by decisive action to suppress terrorist activity”.
Recent events vindicate my own statements from the 26th of December, 2017, when I suggested that Russia should publicly consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons on Idlib. In the following extract, I also accurately predicted Turkey’s pivot towards a focus on eliminating Kurdish terrorism in northern Syria. As I wrote,
“Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov has already stated that the United States is training ISIS fighters evacuated from areas including Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor for further attacks in order to destabilise a situation in Syria where previously, Damascus had begun neutralising the final hotbeds of terrorist activity both in Deir ez-Zor and the Golan Heights.
The terrorists are clearly aware of this and are therefore making ever more use of their hardened positions in Idlib, in order to launch a final stand-off with Syria and her allies.
There can be no excuse for not eradicating fully, the terrorist threat in Idlib. It is for all intents and purposes, nothing more than a failed Governorate whose very existence as a terrorist hotbed threatens the safety and stability of the rest of Syria.
The only solution is to pull all troops away from Idlib as well as all low flying aircraft and instead to mercilessly bomb the entire Governorate, showcasing the most modern weapons available.
A combination of lethal strikes by Syria’s allies Russia and Iran is totally necessary, not only to avenge the loss of the L-39 Albatros, but also to show the United States that it cannot win in Syria because Syria’s allies will no longer hesitate to use the most advanced weapons in order to destroy the terrorist hotbed—weaponry which could just as easily be turned against anyone else.
During the Second Chechen War, Russian opposition leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky advocated the use of tactical nuclear weapons upon enemy strongholds in order to both execute a military objective with exactitude, but also to send a message to the American supporters of the jihadists, that any support they could offer their thugs, would ultimately be futile.
This option, along with that of every other major modern weapon must now be fully considered in order to not just win the Battle of Idlib, but to cleanse Syria of a cancer growing on her soil, which infects all of the civilised world.
If such weapons were used in Idlib, it would also send Israel a clear message, that Syria and her allies will be unrelenting in pursuing all means necessary in order to secure her borders.
As for civilians, there should be a clear and orderly evacuation of women and children, just as was executed in Aleppo before the final battle commenced. Of course, no one should be informed as to what is to come at the time of such an evacuation, but once civilian populations are relieved, the world’s largest display of firepower must be released without hesitation.
Syria cannot sit and wait, Idlib must be the red line for all allies of Damascus. Turkey can reposition itself at a later time to attack its Kurdish enemies, without being directly effected by the operation. Turkey is at this stage, behaving pragmatically in Syria. Only the US and Israel continue to play with fire.
Idlib must be reduced to rubble and with it, every terrorist group in Syria. If Idlib is destroyed, so too will terrorism be destroyed.”
At this stage, it appears that the heavy use of conventional weapons is sufficient for the purposes of destroying the terrorist enslaves in Idlib, but nevertheless, my initial hypothesis has been confirmed due to the overwhelming nature of the terrorist presence in Idlib.
The pilot who was martyred after being shot from the sky by Al-Qaeda has been named as Major Roman Filipov and has been posthumously been named a Hero of Russia. After trying to land his aircraft after being hit, he eventually ejected and parachuted to the ground. There he engaged in close combat with savage terrorists who vastly outnumbered him.
To avoid being captured, he blew himself up with a grenade, thus dying like a true hero and patriot. Russia and Syria have long stood together against the terrorist menace in Syria. When it comes to Idlib, every possible option must be considered when it comes to the full elimination of the terrorist hotbeds. Not a single Russian or Syrian soldier or pilot should lose their life in order to accomplish this. This is why the use of heavy airstrikes is essential, while the further threat of using tactical nuclear weapons against the terrorist might just send a strong message to their western patrons that Russia will never back down in the face of intimidation.