On Tuesday night, Turkey and Russia brokered a cease-fire agreement between the Syrian government forces with their Russian backed coalition and the remaining rebel fighters still in Aleppo. This would have been a defining moment in Syria’s fight against the rebels.
The withdrawal and evacuation were supposed to begin early this morning. The Pan Arab Al-Mayadeen TV station televised Green Syrian buses waiting to evacuate the remaining rebel forces from Aleppo in what would amount to their surrender. The buses sat idle for a few hours. 5,000 rebel fighters and their families were to be evacuated to Atareb, a town on the Northwestern outskirts of Aleppo which the rebels still control.
Shelling resumed in Eastern Aleppo. Syria maintains the rebels started the shelling and the buses were pulled out of the area signaling the end of the cease fire. Activists trapped in a small remaining sliver of Eastern Aleppo still in rebel hands are again in mortal danger. Ibrahim al-Haj a spokesman for the for the Syrian Civil Defense first responders said: “The bombardment is scarcely to be believed…until now 40 people have been wounded. They are using all forms of weapons.”
Predictably, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the rebels resumed hostilities at dawn and tried to break through Syrian government positions. Turkish Foreign Minister said: ”We see now that the regime and other groups are trying to obstruct this deal. This includes Russia, Iran, forces supported by Iran and the regime.”
Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the UN said: “To the Assad regime, Russia and Iran- three member states behind the conquest of and carnage in Aleppo- you bear the responsibility for these atrocities”. Very nice words but it’s all in a day’s work for Syria and its cohorts. Bashar al-Ja’afari Syrian Ambassador to the UN said it was “Syria’s constitutional right to go after terrorists” meaning any opposition. “Aleppo has been liberated from terrorists…Aleppo has returned to the nation.” The only trouble is there is almost no Aleppo or nation left.