News Analysis: Aleppo's victory could be Syrian government's largest win in 5 years

DAMASCUS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The rapid victories the Syrian army is achieving in the northern city of Aleppo and the possible quick retrieve of the city will be the Syrian government's biggest win in the five-year-old war, and the rebels worst defeat, analysts say.

Areas in the eastern part of Aleppo city that had fallen to the rebels in 2012 are falling one by one like dominos to the Syrian army and its allies of the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which are backed by Russia.

The government forces have become in control of nearly half of the rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo, amid a large wave of displacement, as thousands of civilians have left the rebel-controlled areas to the government-held ones in the western part of Aleppo.

REASONS BEHIND RAPID ADVANCE

Aleppo, Syria's largest city and once an economic hub, is deemed as the second capital of Syria after Damascus, whose control is crucial for the Syrian government.

With Aleppo under control, the Syrian army would have completed control over Syria's five main cities, namely the capital Damascus, the central province of Homs, central Hama province, the coastal city of Latakia Latakia, and last but not least Aleppo.

Analysts say the Russian intervention, the fierce fighting of Hezbollah and Iranian fighters were the main reasons behind tilting the balance in Aleppo in favor of the Syrian government forces.

"It's without doubt the biggest victories for the government forces, which started regaining the reins of power in Syria on ground since more than a year, when the Russian intervention came to help, alongside the crucial help of Hezbollah amid an international failure to find solution to the ongoing conflict that has been dragging for over five years," Maher Ihsan, a political analyst, told Xinhua.

He added that the swift advance of the Syrian army is a result of a very precise military tactic, which is based on opening several fronts at once with the aim of weakening the fighters of the rebel factions and dispersing their forces.

"The army has worked on splitting in half the rebel-held areas, and will further do more splits to the half that is still with the rebels to completely divide them and either to eliminate them or force them to accept to leave eastern Aleppo," he added.

Ihsan said the political process had been deadlocked recently with the rebels having no central leadership to make a unified stance, not to mention the terror-designated groups such as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebels who have declared or undeclared allegiances to the Nusra and other radical groups.

"Under this situation, It's extremely difficult for the opposition side to be able to reach a quick political settlement with the government, especially that the regional and international powers supporting the rebels are not really serious about bringing a political end to the conflict, so the government forces and its backers have chosen to take the initiative by stripping the rebels of key grounds," he added.

GOVERNMENT VS REBELS SITUATION

With Aleppo under control, the Syrian government will have the upper hand in any upcoming negotiation or settlement, Ihsan said.

Osama Danura, another political analyst, told Xinhua that the rebels in eastern Aleppo have reached a conclusion that all of their efforts to capture all of Aleppo by launching several major offensives are for nothing.

"What we are witnessing in Aleppo now is the collapse of the rebels which are supported by foreign powers," he said.

Danura said that both Damascus and Moscow have agreed on a strategy in Aleppo, which has been subject to a long time of preparation, including a halt of the aerial shelling on eastern Aleppo, while the ground troops were biting through the rebel areas step by step.

"Now the rebel presence in Aleppo is a matter of time before they are gone for good. I think that the rebels who remain in Aleppo will practice more pressure on the Nusra Front to leave Aleppo and will finally agree to what the government calls reconciliations," Danura added.

He said the recent military offensive in Aleppo has passed smoothly and is expected to roll over to other rebel-held areas in Aleppo.

Controlling Aleppo means the collapse of the project of bringing down the Syrian regime, as Aleppo is the second capital of Syria and liberating Aleppo means the stabilization of the government and its institutions.

"It means that the Syrian government is strong again and in control and the rebels are in the worst shape ever. I think liberating Aleppo will usher in a new era, which is completely different from the times before taking back the city," he said.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]
 

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