|The Souk - Old Aleppo|
"The Syrian Arab Army is now within sight of taking back all of Aleppo. For several years now, the eastern part of Aleppo – one of Syria’s oldest and most beautiful cities – has been in the hands of the armed opposition. The western part has been in the hands of the Syrian government. Now with the Syrian army hastily taking the Hanano as well as Jabal Badro and Baadeen districts, the corridor used by the opposition fighters to resupply them from the Syrian countryside (via Iraq) and from across the Turkish border is now substantially closed. Apart from small pockets of hardened resistance, the bulk of Aleppo will soon be in the hands of the government.
Several factors came together to make the assault on the eastern part of Aleppo possible. It was not the presence of Hezbollah and the Iraqi and Iranian militias nor was it the presence of Russian air support that made the difference for the Syrian army. These assets had been available to the Syrian government for several years now. There had been no appetite to use them previously. Attacks had been made on eastern Aleppo, but nothing of the scale as has been seen now – nor with the ferocity and speed with which the Syrian army moves to close the corridor out of eastern Aleppo. Civilian casualties are certainly high, and so too have been the attacks on key infrastructure in this part of the city. The Syrian army is now attacking not to put pressure on the armed opposition, but to defeat it.
The thrust to take all of Aleppo came for other – mainly three - reasons, says a well-informed contact in the Syrian armed forces.
These three reasons are (1) the withdrawal of Turkish support for the armed opposition, (2) the collapse of the Western-backed rebels in southern Syria and (3) the Iraqi-Western push against ISIS in Mosul.
Let's talk about withdrawal of support by Turkey. As reported here at the blog there was an agreement between Russia and Turkey!
Pretty certain I mentioned this on more then one occasion. Here's one post on the topic: Russia and Turkey Plot The Endgame in Aleppo
You may also want to look at the article written by Ollie Richardson from StalkerZone.org
subject of the post before this one:Erdogan Declares War on Syria or Just More Sensationalist Spin from Alt Media Analysts
" Russia’s agreement with Turkey involving the latter’s entrance in the Syrian theatre did not provisionally include any definite red lines. Thus, these lines will be drawn in the sand where ever and when ever it is deemed necessary"
|The Souk in Old Aleppo|
(1)Turkey’s withdrawal: The main reason for the Syrian army’s thrust, says my contact, is that the Turkish government has withdrawn its material support for the armed opposition inside Aleppo. Essential supplies from the Gulf Arab states and from Turkey had come across the border crossing at Azaz. (That’s done)Previous comments from Rescue who informed us all that this had occurred:
You can read the authors contention at the linked article
2) Collapse of southern rebels- Note that this author never mentions Israel as a supplier of terrorists and arms- so we're getting a limited hangout even here!In my opinion, rather then this being about extremism in the 'moderates'- Which, the US was cool with, as was Israel. In fact it suited them just fine! More sensibly the problem was all the bad PR associated with the US/Israel’s thugs. That was the final straw- No one was believing the moderate rebel meme. No one at all. The battle for your mind and my mind had failed.
“Collapse of the Southern Front. The West – particularly the United States – has long recognized that the armed opposition are closely linked with one form or another of radical extremism. Lack of confidence from their main backers – the West – revived tensions within the Front. One of its main constituents, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, faced a leadership crisis. The old al-Qaeda group – Jabhat al-Nusra – had renamed itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham to attempt to rebrand itself as a nationalist formation. Its leadership – namely Saleh al-Hamwi – called for a new leadership in the Syrian Revolutionary Front, to depose the more nationalist minded leaders and substitute them for Islamists. This was the final blow to the attempt to create a ‘moderate’ force against the Damascus government”
3) Battle for Mosul (Iraq): Finally, the Iraqi government – fully backed (questionable???) by the West – launched a major attack on ISIS-controlled Mosul in Iraq. This was on 21 October 2016. A week later, the Syrian government opened up its own offensive in Aleppo. My Syrian interlocutor who is in the armed forces told me that there were two reasons for the push in November. The first is that the government knew that the attack on eastern Aleppo would bring heavy casualties. They calculated that the Iraqi-Western push into Mosul would also produce a large number of casualties. The West would, therefore, have to be more forgiving of the Syrian advance given that there is no possibility of taking a city without great hardship and death. The French desire to have UN Security Council action to prevent the final push by the Syrian Army will amount to little. The second reason is that once the West helps the Iraqis to take Mosul, they will make a dash for Raqqa. The Syrian army wants to take Aleppo and then turn its energy towards Raqqa.Agreed that this the Syrian army wants and has to take Raqqa.
And this is where it all goes back to al Bab!