Understanding Aleppo

Photo by Khalid Albaih | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Khalid Albaih | CC BY 2.0

 

To understand the situation in Aleppo is to understand that key to the conflict in Syria at this juncture is whether it is Washington and its allies or the Syrian Army and Russia who liberate Raqqa, the capital of the so-called Islamic State.

This is why it does not take a military genius to discern why Washington has been determined to prolong the military operation being conducted by the Syrian Army, supported by Russia, to liberate eastern Aleppo – which remains occupied by Nusra Front and the ‘moderates’ fighting alongside the Salafi-jihadist group. Keeping the Syrian and Russian military forces bogged down there is key to allowing the US-led coalition to complete the operation, currently underway, to take the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, before continuing an east-west advance across the Syrian border to take Raqqa.

This will allow Raqqa to be established as the de facto capital of so-called moderate Syrian forces, who will be able to re-group there, presumably under cover of a US-imposed no-fly zone, to become a counterweight to the authority of the Assad government in Damascus. Such a development would also enable the establishment of a permanent US military presence in a country that has long been key to Washington’s objective of dominating the region.

That every aspect of such a strategy is illegal under the terms of the UN Charter is of minor consequence to an imperial power that has long treated international…

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