Thursday, December 22, 2016

Syria: The Army Has Taken Over The Whole Of Aleppo


The Syrian regime on Thursday resumed full control of Aleppo, the country's second-largest city, winning its biggest victory against rebels since the start of the war in 2011.

The Syrian army made the official announcement on Thursday night after the last convoy of rebels and civilians from Aleppo East, the former rebel stronghold of the metropolis fell after a month of a violent campaign of aerial and land bombings.


"The general command of the armed forces announces the return of security to Aleppo after its release from terrorism and terrorists and the exit of those who remained there," said an army statement read by a general On state television.
"This victory represents a strategic turning point (...) in the war against terrorism," the statement added.

"It underscores the ability of the Syrian Army and its allies to win the battle against terrorist groups and lays the groundwork for a new phase to drive terrorism out of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic."




As soon as the announcement was made, celebratory shots were heard by the AFP correspondent in Aleppo.

- Moscow and Tehran also victorious -


The Syrian army and Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ( the ally of the regime) "deployed in the last pocket controlled by the rebellion, and where the deminers will intervene," said for his part to the AFP the director of the Syrian Observatory Of Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahmane.

By losing its bastion become a field of ruins because of the violent bombing, the rebellion wipes its worst setback since the beginning of the war in March 2011.
 Moscow and Tehran also victorious -

The Syrian army and Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ( the ally of the regime) "deployed in the last pocket controlled by the rebellion, and where the deminers will intervene," said for his part to the AFP the director of the Syrian Observatory Of Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahmane.

By losing its bastion become a field of ruins because of the violent bombing, the rebellion wipes its worst setback since the beginning of the war in March 2011.
With the total reconquest of the city, the regime now controls the five main cities of Syria with those of Homs, Hama, Damascus, and Latakia.

The regime shares this victory with its weighty allies, Russia, militarily intervening in Syria since September 2015, and Iran.

On the other hand, the takeover of Aleppo is a defeat for the opposition allies like the Gulf monarchies, Turkey, and the Western countries, who saw the rebels as an alternative to the regime in place for half a century.

Due to the antagonism between Russia and the Western world, led by the United States, the international community was paralyzed by the humanitarian tragedy.
At the last minute and at a minimum, the UN Security Council voted unanimously for the international supervision of the Aleppo evacuations as they came to an end.

A remainder of the protest movement against the regime in March 2011, the second city plunged into the civil war in July 2012.

In a surprise offensive, the rebels entered the city and seized more than half of the city from the army of the eastern districts and the historic heart of the city.

Divided since then, Aleppo, one of the oldest cities in the world, had become the main front of the Syrian conflict, which left more than 310,000 dead in five years.

- Rebellious quarters in ruins -

With the support of the Russian air force, the Syrian army had led offensive after the offensive in recent months to recapture this sector of the divided metropolis.
But it was the last one, launched on November 15, that broke the rebel defenses, unable to withstand the power of land and air fire deployed by Damascus and its foreign allies, such as Hezbollah, Iranian and Iraqi militias.

The neighborhoods of Aleppo have been almost razed by aerial bombardments which have intensified in recent months, mowing the lives of several hundred civilians and recalling the destruction of cities like Berlin in 1945, Guernica or Grozny.

In four weeks, from 15 November to 15 December, the military operation claimed the lives of more than 465 civilians, including 62 children, in Aleppo, according to the OSDH, while 142 civilians, including 42 children, were killed By rebel fire in the west of the city.




In addition to the bombing, the population of Aleppo, estimated before the offensive to 250,000 people, had suffered a stifling siege since 17 July, suffering from a near total shortage of food, medicine, and fuel.

For geographer Fabrice Balanche, President Bashar al-Assad needed this victory because "without Aleppo, he was a half-president."

It was "difficult for him to preside over the destinies of Syria without keeping the second city of the country, and with his victory, he can present himself as the president of all Syria," adds this researcher to the Washington Institute.

The reconquest of Aleppo allows the regime to embark on the conquest of other areas that escape it as the province of Idleb (northwest) near Aleppo and which is in the hands of a coalition of rebels and jihadists.

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