syrian army
The Obama administration has obviously decided to restart the war in Syria. Thousands of tons of new weapons have been purchased and delivered to the Jihadists including anti-air MANPADs of U.S. (full text) and Chinese origin. Half of the weapons the "rebel" mercenaries are given by their sponsors regularly end up in the hands of Al-Qaeda in Syria. We will not be surprised when a few weeks from now a civilian passenger plane will be hit and come down in Turkey or elsewhere.

Two week ago the foreign-supported "rebels" already broke the ceasefire when they took part in a large al-Qaeda attack south of Aleppo city. Several "rebel" attacks took place against the Kurdish quarter in Aleppo city with over a hundred civilian deaths. Other attacks took place in north Latakia.

Comment: They blame the Syrian Army for breaking the ceasefire in Aleppo, but that's nonsense, as Lavrov pointed out:
[Our] American partners within our consultations as the co-chair of the International Support Syria Group raise various issues, including that in the area of Aleppo government forces are violating the cessation of hostilities. But the government troops that are supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria are not working against that part of the opposition that has accepted the conditions of the ceasefire ... [they are] working against terrorists.
The head of the Damascus delegation, Bashar Jaafari, concurred:
"According to resolution 2254, there are two tracks — political and military, on combating terrorists. So combating terrorism is a fully legitimate action taken by the Syrian army and its allies in accordance with the resolution," Jaafari said. Asked whether Damascus would consider suspending a military operation in Aleppo, Jaafari said, "No." " The so-called accusations by Riyadh group are false, they have no foundation and are baseless," Jaafari said.

Today the "rebels" announced a full return to open war and more fronts were reopened including in north Hama where Uighur "Turkmen" Jihadis used two suicide bombers against the Syrian government positions.

The UN-sponsored talks in Geneva went nowhere and the "rebel" side now suspended them to renew the fighting. Only three men of the Saudi-controlled "rebel" negotiating team attended today. They still insist on the unconstitutional removal of the Syrian president before agreeing to any further talks about a unity government.

Comment: The Saudi-backed HNC is making a collective fool of itself, saying they are ready to "ensure complete compliance" with the truce. Their spokesman, Monzer Makhous added, "Statistically speaking, the vast majority of the cessation of hostilities violations come from the regime. I do not rule out that there may [be violations] on our side too, but these are self-defense measures." Can we get a collective eye-roll?

Makhous also called a "temporary" halt to the HNC's participation, until "progress" is achieved, calling for the creation of an Assad-free supreme body to manage the political process and adding this: with regard to the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, it has been essentially completely broken, to the point where we doubt that this agreement still exists." You can thank your 'moderate rebels' for that, Makhous.

Jaafari responded, calling for Washington to "exert more pressure on its fellow armed groups ... in order to engage effectively, fruitfully and constructively in its political track":
This group of Riyadh would not have acted the way it acted if it did not benefit from foreign coverage and help from outside. If they felt for a second that their handlers from outside would not be happy with their unilateral decision of freezing [participation in the current round of Geneva talks[, they would not have acted this way. They did it because they got instructions from their handlers to do so. So we expect Washington to exert real pressure on these groups in order to engage positively in the intra-Syrian talks.
More common sense from Jaafari:
"By deciding to withdraw or suspend their participation, they are showing their irresponsible approach towards the process of Geneva, they are showing that they are immature, politically speaking, because we have been here in Geneva only for 48 hours. They have not yet engaged in any serious discussions before deciding unilaterally to freeze their participation [in the talks]," Jaafari said.

"The masters of the group of Riyadh are the ones who instructed them to take such an irresponsible and provocative decision [to suspend their participation in the talks]. The proof is that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia will arrive this evening to Geneva to conduct a direct monitoring of the group of Riyadh performance," Jaafari said.

"It only proves that these people are not independent, they are not representing an independent Syrian opposition, but rather a group of people working for the Saudi and Turkish agenda," he said.
He also rejected the HNC's call for more foreign interference in Syria's affairs, in the form of an international "monitoring" mission to be sent to Aleppo:
By calling for bringing international force [monitoring mission] to Aleppo, they are calling for further internationalization of the Syrian crisis and bringing further foreign interference into the Syrian domestic affairs," Jaafari said.

"This is in itself contrary to Geneva spirit, which stipulates that we should work as Syrians without any preconditions and any foreign interference. Of course the Syrian government is against any presence of any foreign troops on the Syrian soil," he stressed.

The Syrian army has suspended its ongoing offensive against the Islamic State. The plan was to march from the recently freed Palmyra to the Islamic State held Deir Ezzor in the east. The troops have now been recalled to protect the Syrian people from the renewed "rebel" attacks in west Syria. This may well fit the U.S. intentions in its phony war on ISIS.

There will soon be reports about local retreats of the Syrian army from this or that town or hill. Do not give them too much weight. Since the Russian intervention last year the Syrian troops have orders to retreat when under hard pressure. This to preserve manpower. As soon as the enemy occupies a position the artillery and air force will take care of them. Then, when the enemy attack has been blunted, the Syrian army and their allies on the ground will reoccupy the position and if possible launch counterattacks.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Suleiman visited Moscow last week. After his first visit last summer the Russian intervention was planned and executed. It brought the "rebels" to the border of total defeat. Their sponsors then agreed to a ceasefire and to hold talks in Geneva. Since the ceasefire announcement on February 27 the time was used by the U.S. to rearm and reposition the "rebel" force.

It seems that another round of the cycle is now necessary. Iran has deployed regular ground troops in Syria and these, even while not yet battle-tested, will have some effect. The Syrian air force has been reequipped and its older planes have been updated. Russian helicopters are active on the Syrian front and new short range (200 km) "Iskander" ballistic missiles were recently seen. The Russian air force can additionally engage with long range flights from Russia against fixed targets in Syria within hours. Russia cruise missile carrying ships are near the Syrian coast.

It is foolish to believe that MANPADs and TOW anti tank systems can decisively change the situation on the ground. I expect that a few weeks of heavy fighting will now follow after which the "rebels" will again be exhausted and again on the border of defeat.