DAMASCUS, Syria — From his office adjacent to the presidential al-Rawda Palace in the heart of Damascus, a Syrian official goes about his work interpreting the landscape in his country and its surroundings at the military and internal and external political levels. He told Al-Monitor, “The military situation of our armed forces and the situation on the ground is more than good. The fall of the town of Murak to the Syrian army is a major achievement that can even be described as strategic. Control over this critical site guarantees total control of the Hama-Aleppo road. This implies that Aleppo city has almost fallen to the Syrian army militarily.”
It is therefore probably logical that the authorities in Damascus do not agree with the proposal by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to turn the city into a “freeze zone,” as it is being called, to be managed by moderate opposition members and to then talk later with Syrian authorities about restarting the Geneva path for a peaceful solution.