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Issue #1761      December 14, 2016

Syrian Army will retake Aleppo

After weeks of heavy fighting, the Syrian Army has reportedly seized control of the entire historic centre of Aleppo that was held by terrorists. Syrian troops also seized a fortified hospital that militants turned into a large command post with an ammo depot.

“I am standing in the citadel of Aleppo right now which is the centre of the old city of Aleppo and just minutes ago advancing units from the Syrian Army have cut off three districts of Aleppo that were under militant’s control,” Alaa Ebrahim, a freelance Syrian journalist, said. However, according to the journalist, despite the recent gains made, the Syrian Army feels that the battle ahead will not be an easy one because the militants could employ suicide tactics.

“The army is advancing but the pace of these advances could change from one day to another but I can tell you for a fact that according to every officer that I met with, the end result seems conclusive that the Syrian Army sooner or later and before the end of 2016 will be able to completely regain Aleppo.” Syrian pro-government forces sit on a military vehicle driving past residents fleeing the eastern part of Aleppo and gathering in Masaken Hanano, a former rebel-held district which was retaken by the regime forces on November 30.

He further spoke about the troops in Aleppo saying that since 2012 the militants had Aleppo under their control but when the Syrian Army came they started a very complicated operation that included opening of an alternative route to Aleppo because the previous one was under terrorist’s control.

“The army had to lay siege to Aleppo and that process went on for years. It was only in Summer 2016 that the Syrian Army could impose a full siege around the city’s perimeter”.

He further said that the army needed logistical and technological assistance which was provided by the Syrian Army’s allies such as Russia, Iranian advisers and Hezbollah. Talking about what would be the next step for the Syrian Army after it manages to liberate Aleppo, the journalist said, “Some people are saying that the army would head to al-Raqqa, some are saying it could be heading toward the Turkish border in order to secure that border. Anything could happen,” Ebrahim said.

He further said that it is important to bear in mind that two years ago many people thought of Aleppo as a success story for the rebels because the city is one of the largest in Syria and it is the economic hub of the country.

“They controlled most of the city, most of the roads leading to it and now it is becoming a success story of the Syrian government and its allies as they have turned the tables and now they have the upper hand in this.”

The journalist said that despite the success in Aleppo there are still thousands of rebels in the province of Idlib and thousands of Daesh militants still control parts of the country so the fight against them is ongoing. The battle for Aleppo, one of the largest cities in the country, has become key for the outcome of the deadly Syrian conflict which has claimed more than 400,000 lives and left millions displaced.

The city is mostly controlled by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, but several districts in eastern Aleppo still remain in the hands of the terrorists.

Sputnik International

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