The Battle for Aleppo

(Wall Street Journal) Yaroslav Trofimov - The escalating fight for Aleppo has emerged as a test of whether Russia and Iran can in fact help President Assad win a decisive battle in the five-year Syrian war. In July, Syrian government forces, aided by Iran, Lebanon's Hizbullah militia, and Russian air power, severed the lifeline that connected rebel-held east Aleppo to wider rebel areas. Last week, rebel forces surprised the regime by mounting a successful counteroffensive. Those advances were made possible by the participation of the Syrian Conquest Front, the new name of the Nusra Front. Importantly, they also cut off the main supply route into regime-controlled west Aleppo. Precisely because this status quo is unsustainable for either side, the fighting is intensifying, with Russia launching airstrike after airstrike and Hizbullah and other foreign Shiite militias pouring in more troops to back regime forces.

2016-08-12 00:00:00

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