World View: Syrian Regime Apparently Suffers Major Setback in Aleppo

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the majority of the over 500 killed since July 31 in Aleppo were rebels fighters and jihadists

This morning’s key headlines from

  • People of Aleppo burn tires to create a smoky ‘no-fly zone’
  • Syrian regime apparently suffers major setback in Aleppo

People of Aleppo burn tires to create a smoky ‘no-fly zone’

Burning tires in Aleppo to create a 'no-fly zone' (AP)
Burning tires in Aleppo to create a ‘no-fly zone’ (AP)

With Aleppo’s civilians, including hundreds of thousands of women and children, being bombed indiscriminately by the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and by Russia’s warplanes, sending missiles into schools and hospitals, dropping barrel bombs laden with metal and chemical weapons on civilian neighborhoods, the people are using any method they can to protect themselves. Even children are doing their part.

The people of Aleppo, including children, are burning tires in order to create a “smoke curtain” above the city, blocking the warplanes from identifying targets to bomb. There have been repeated proposals to create a “no-fly zone” over Syria, but none has ever been implemented. The people of Aleppo are creating their own no-fly zone by burning tires. BBC and Gulf News

Syrian regime apparently suffers major setback in Aleppo

Rebel forces in Syria fighting against the army of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, supported by forces from Iran and Iran-controlled Hezbollah and by Russia’s air force, are claiming that they have broken the siege that had blocked food shipments into Aleppo.

If this is true then it could represent a major setback for al-Assad and for Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. As we described last week, Russia is using the ‘Grozny Model’ to pursue mass slaughter in Aleppo. There are 300,000 civilians, including women and children, in Aleppo. Putin’s plan, following the Grozny model that Russia used in the war in Chechnya, is to drive as many people out of Aleppo as possible, to where they can be easily targeted and killed by missiles and chlorine-laden barrel bombs, and then call anyone remaining in the city a “terrorist,” and flatten the entire city, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Part of the strategy was to use a siege to starve the city, and then allow people to leave at the appropriate time. However, a coalition of two dozen anti-Assad rebel groups, calling itself “The Army of Conquest,” led by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), are claiming that they’ve broken the siege and that food is entering the city.

Apparently, the change that permitted the coalition to be formed was that JFS renounced its affiliation with al-Qaeda. ( “29-Jul-16 World View — Syria’s Al-Nusra splits with al-Qaeda, becoming Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”) Many anti-Assad groups didn’t want to be linked to al-Qaeda, and were demanding that Jabhat al-Nusra split with al-Qaeda before any coalition could be formed.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the rebels had broken the siege but the route was “not fully secure yet.” Even if the coalition have broken the siege, it remains to be seen whether they can consolidate their gains, especially as the Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces redeploy to reinstate the siege. AP and ARA News (Syria-Kurdish)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Aleppo, Russia, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Grozny, Chechnya, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, JFS, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
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