Sam Dagher of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled, “Syrian Rebels Make Fresh Gains” in which he highlights these facts:

The most striking opposition gains came in northwest Syria along Turkey’s frontier … There, a Turkish-backed coalition of Islamist rebel groups captured more than a dozen villages, checkpoints and installations in a strategic area straddling Hama, Idlib and Latakia provinces that the Assad regime previously controlled…

These gains in Sahl al-Ghab provide the rebels with direct access to the Alawite capital in Latakiya. They are very important to the regime.

If we all recall, Qassem Suleimani, after visiting Latakiya in early June, pronounced to the world that Iran will “surprise” us all. It was dubbed then Suleimani’s surprise.

In light of these fresh gains by the rebels, we need to ask the question, “what happened to Suleimani’s surprise two months after it was promised”?

Are we to assume it is still in the making or shall we begin to seriously doubt Iran’s military capabilities? Is Suleimani full of hot air? Why is Iran unable to defeat some rag-tag rebels without an air force, satellite intelligence, and good training?

For once, the Syrian rebels undress Iranian propaganda naked, and it behooves us to write about it to come to terms with how weak Iran is.

An Assad defeat on the battlefields is an Iranian defeat as well. Separating the two gives Iran the opportunity to manipulate us with its propaganda by making us forget how much Iran today controls the Syrian military.

What Happened to Suleimani’s Surprise?

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An under-the-radar revolution in Syria
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