By Martin Chulov in Aleppo in The Guardian
The last road into rebel-held east Aleppo carves though a mile-wide paddock between an abandoned village and a looming ridgeline. Behind each of them Syrian troops advance slowly, hidden from view.
Trucks, cars and motorbikes bump through the green field, gouging deep muddy holes that are starting to resemble trenches, before joining a gravel path along a sand berm that shelters the final passage into what is left of the city.
After two-and-a-half years of war, the Aleppo at the end of the makeshift road is a wasteland where only gunmen, soldiers and a few desperate civilians now tread. Those who dare do so tentatively, knowing that the defining fight for one of the cradles of civilisation is now imminent.
Whoever wins the coming battle for northern Syria will go a long way towards victory in the war that has levelled much of the country and set the neighbourhood ablaze, threatening borders drawn a century ago and shattering several millennia of co-existence from the Mediterranean coast to Iraq’s Ninevah plains.
Read more at The Guardian
Categories: Foreign affairs, History, Middle East, Military history, Syria, World history, World news
A special thanks to our friend Abby Lyons for sharing this important news story.
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Assad and ilk, (not doubting for a minute he has help) have depleted Syrian human capital to the point of extermination. Syria is dead. It died two years ago. Now all that is left is who will take over the land. My bet is Russia.
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Bashar al-Assad has no doubt destroyed the future hopes and dreams of the Syrian people for at least a generation. One need only look to the long term historic consequences of the dissolution of the state of Palestine to get a sense of the potentially enormous impact of the Syrian civil war on the future of the entire region and its peoples. I’m fairly certain that this is what you had in mind when you referred to the loss of life in Syria and the destruction of Syrian society as a “depletion of human capital.”
But Syria is not dead. There are at least 9 million people directly affected by this humanitarian nightmare who still consider themselves Syrians. This war is far from over.
The Russians are bit players in the big picture. They have and continue to supply the Assad regime with weapons and money. They are making book on Assad’s chances of survival. It’s a bad wager. And that’s because they aspire to have a larger role and importance in the region. But Russia has neither the military resources nor the desire to occupy any Middle East territory rife with insurgency. They got spanked in Afghanistan.
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