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Al Assad the Net Winner from the US Aerial Raids

The Syrian regime is telling whoever wants to listen that the US bombardment of ISIL targets in the country was done in “full coordination” between the two governments, and that the US army is fighting “in the same line” with the Syrian army.
“Al Watan” daily newspaper, published in Damascus and owned by Rami Makhlouf, a relative and business associate of Bashar Al Assad, printed an editorial that praises the US military operation and said that the Syrian Army will gain “substantial benefits” from these operations “so far as they hit terrorist forces.” The editorial emphasized, “it is the Syrian army that is stronger on the ground and has the capabilities and the flexibility to move.”
Syria’s Minister of Information, Umran Al Z’uabi, repeated the same views in an interview on national TV and added that his government was informed in advance of the US intentions to hit ISIL targets. The minister denied allegations that the attacks represented a violation of Syria’s sovereignty “as it is based on a UN Security Council resolution.” Leaks that Iran conveyed a message to Al Assad that the
US will bomb targets inside Syria and that he should remain quiet about it, were reported in the Western media.
However, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haider said that Damascus was in fact informed by the US ambassador to the United Nations, who spoke with her Syrian counterpart before the start of the military operations.
But the intensive spinning done by Syrian officials contains at least one fact that is difficult to deny. For it is becoming more and more obvious that the Syrian army will be the principle benefactor from the US bombardment.
Military commanders of the main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) have calculations similar to the Syrian officials. Colonel Hassan Hammadey who leads a unit of the armed opposition in the North of Syria said that most of his men fear that the regime will benefit from the raids. He added, “If that is truly the case, people will sympathize more with ISIL. They will see the Americans helping Al Assad”.
Ahmed Rahal, another commander in the North, also said that the US bombardments were not exclusively aimed at ISIL. “Some of the Free Syrian Army forces were hit as well. I heard of other Islamists who do not belong to ISIL and who fought Al Assad heroically losing numbers of their men as a result of the American raids”, he said.
But Hady Al Bahra, the leader of the SNC, announced his firm support to the US actions. These contradictory evaluations of the impact of the US aerial raids may have helped exacerbate the differences inside the SNC military command structure. Emerging troubles inside the National Coalition are a usual and repeated occurrence.
However, this time, the disputes may well directly affect the ability of the Syrian National Coalition to fill the vacuum created by the US air raids on ISIL. The dispute led to the dismissal of Joint Chief of Staff Abdul Elah Al Bashir from his post. It was a decision that came from the Supreme Military Command (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army.
But this decision to actually came in response to Coalition head Al Bahra’s earlier instructions to disband the whole SMC. The reaction also accused Al Bahra of being a “weak leader,” and demanded that he resign with Al Bashir. The SMC appointed Brigadier-General Ahmed Berri as acting Joint Chief of Staff.
In addition, the SMC fired Brigadier Generals Qassem Saad Aldin, Farag Al Hammoud and Colonel Arafat Al Hammoud for “breaking the internal discipline and circulating rumors.”

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