What was a bloody four year battle is about to end as the Syrian regime with Russian assistance is regaining control of Aleppo. The last pockets of rebel resistance in Aleppo are being blown out by massive plane bombings and tanks taking up positions around East Aleppo.
The government has retaken control of almost all of Eastern Aleppo from the rebels who held on to it for four years. The rebels who are caught and anyone remotely linked to the rebels including civilians women and children are executed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that; “Every hour, butcheries are carried out”. Mohammad Basbous of the Aleppo Media Center told CNN that relatives of Free Syrian Army rebels including women and children were executed. This adds to the endless reports of atrocities taking place in Syria. Medical teams in Aleppo have told Ahmad Dbais of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations that special effort was made to execute young people.
The UN said that there were reports that 82 civilians including 11 women and 13 children were shot on sight by Government forces and many were killed in their homes. Bodies are lying in the streets and relatives won’t go retrieve them as they will also get shot.
This past Sunday the U.S. and Russia were negotiating a cease fire agreement that would allow humanitarian aid into Aleppo and allow safe evacuation of rebels. It seemed they almost agreed but the State department announced that Russia put off the cease fire for a few days. It seems they need a few more days of bloodshed. When they agree to a cease fire there it will be after no opposition survives. Alex Younger the head of Britain’s Foreign Intelligence service said: “In Aleppo, Russia and the Syrian regime seek to make a desert and call it peace.”
At a press briefing John Kirby spokesman of the White House said the following; “Rather than accepting the US proposal for an immediate cessation, the Russians informed us that a cessation could not start for several days, meaning that the assault by the regime and its supporters on Aleppo would continue until any agreement would go into effect. …So we're deeply frustrated, but we're not surprised by this lack of Russian and regime commitment to what should be a humane solution to the current brutality. And we remain gravely worried for the safety and wellbeing of the people that are now remaining in east Aleppo.”
It seems that Aleppo may fall but this war may continue for a while as Assad is more ruthless than before, bombing hospitals and murdering civilians. The rebels that survive are digging in for the long haul knowing that they have nothing to lose. They were labeled terrorists by Syria and Russia. As such they will re-align with other terrorist groups as the West abandons them and limits the consequences of Syrian and Russian atrocities to ineffective UN resolutions that Russia strikes down. They will also attract a lot of moderates who are also considered terrorists in the eyes of Syria.
Had the West acted responsibly and backed the rebels from the beginning, a half million lives would have been saved in Syria and many more in the whole Middle East as Russia would not have stepped into the vacuum with aid to Assad.