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  • We begin the day with what is looking

  • more and more like the final fall of

  • Aleppo. The regime of Bashar al-Assad,

  • Russia, Iran, and they're affiliated

  • militia are the ones responsible for

  • what the UN called a complete meltdown

  • of humanity. The battle for Aleppo is over

  • "Are you truly incapable of shame is

  • there literally nothing that can shame you?"

  • Aleppo has fallen. The city, formerly

  • the most populous place in Syria, was the

  • site of a major battle between Bashar al

  • Assad government and rebel forces.

  • The rebels control the eastern half of the

  • city and Assad the West.

  • The story of Syria's Civil War is a

  • story of flip-flops. Early on it looked

  • like the Assad regime was finished,

  • intervention by Iran and support by

  • Russia help prop them up. Then the rebels

  • backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and

  • several other sides turned the tides and

  • this happened a number of different

  • times inside the conflict.

  • September 2015 was a turning point in the Syrian

  • civil war. That's when Russia intervened

  • directly for the first time.

  • Russian airstrikes began pounding rebels

  • under the cover of hitting ISIS. Russian

  • airstrikes played a decisive role in

  • allowing Assad to encircle Aleppo. The

  • bombardment made it very difficult for

  • rebels to operate freely allowing Assad

  • to move towards Aleppo and eventually

  • encircle the city.

  • A siege is a military tactic where forces on one side

  • surround the other side, including any

  • civilians trapped in there and deny

  • supplies from entering the city. There is

  • a grim logic to imposing a siege on Aleppo.

  • If you deny the rebels' food and medicine

  • eventually they lose the physical and

  • mental capability to fight. Assad's vicious

  • siege worked as intended. The rebels

  • collapsed allowing Assad forces with

  • Iranian and Russian backing to stream

  • into eastern Aleppo. Almost immediately

  • reports of massacres started filtering

  • out of civilians being killed on the

  • streets of women committing suicide to

  • avoid being raped by Assad's forces.

  • It's hard to know how many were killed in

  • this initial purge. We do know

  • shortly after the siege was broken an

  • evacuation agreement was struck allowing

  • again an unknown number of civilians to

  • escape into other territory mostly to

  • the city of Idlib, still in rebel hands.

  • The United States had the military power

  • to break the siege of Aleppo and prevent

  • the city from falling but doing so would

  • have been extremely dangerous.

  • For one thing the United States would

  • have needed to have coordinated with

  • rebels on the ground, some of whom were

  • extremists. For another it would mean

  • that American planes would have been

  • flying in hostile airspace with Russian

  • planes. If the United States were to

  • engage Russian planes that would mean a

  • direct exchange of fire between two

  • nuclear-armed powers a risk that very

  • few in Washington were willing to take.

  • Third,

  • even if the US had temporarily broken

  • the siege of Aleppo and prevented it from

  • falling it would have required a

  • tremendous an open-ended commitment to

  • prevent Assad from simply reimposing the

  • siege after Americans left. Whether or

  • not you think an American intervention

  • would have been worth the risks

  • there's no way to save Aleppo now. The

  • city has fallen and Assad's troops have

  • gone and committed untold atrocities

  • with who knows how many more left to go.

  • The rebels have been dealt a devastating

  • blow one it's not clear they can

  • recover from. This victory for Assad

  • has been achieved with the support of

  • two major international powers Russia

  • and Iran and it has involved atrocities

  • that are supposed to be prevented under international law. They fought

  • horrifically and they won that's the

  • lesson of Aleppo.

We begin the day with what is looking

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The fall of Aleppo, explained

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    韓澐 posted on 2016/12/21
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