The control of the Syrian Army of Aleppo is conducive to a new map of the Middle East in the coming few years as Aleppo was expected to be the hub for fighters in Syria and Iraq, functioning as a springboard towards other countries.
Armed opposition fighters belonging to several groups – principally the Fateh ash-Sham/Nusra Front, Ahrar ash-Sham, the Noureddin al-Zenki – are cornered between Idlib and Aleppo now and they cannot find a way out unless they accept the terms set by the Syrian government.
This sounds the beginning of the end of the five-year Jihadi plan to establish an Islamic State in Syria’s second city Aleppo. Thus, regional countries started thinking what is next.
Some states in the Middle East (without naming any) believe that the turn will be into Yemen as Iranians and their allies are now almost relaxed, and not tensed as before, after the liberation of Aleppo. They would start boosting their military and logistic support to parties fighting in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and some other Middle Eastern countries, especially after the Israelis started expanding their presence on the borders with Iran through inking agreements with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in various fields.
However, Syrian officials do not conceal their concerns about three simultaneous developments: The advance of Daesh forces into Palmyra, the attrition of Syrian army in some places of Syria, the infiltration of the Turkish troops in some northern suburbs of Syria in violation of understandings between Ankara and Moscow. Also concerning is the US Congress’ lifting of the ban on arming terrorist factions in Syria, as the United States has now provided more sophisticated American weaponry to these groups, including anti-aircraft missiles, which could tilt the balance of power in the still ongoing Syrian war.
In spite all of this, the shape of the Middle East will change soon and new political and military powers will arise in some countries toppling some regimes through the support of external powers. This is the prospect for 2017.