Translated by Captain Ahab
More than 21,000 civilians have fled eastern Aleppo, which the Syrian army now controls more than 60% of, even though it’s been less than a month since the offensive started.
It is clear from the course of developments in Aleppo that Turkey, which was the first protector of the city through its political support in international forums, and through it’s military by providing major supply lines of men and armaments to the insurgents, as well as through affiliated organizations directly such as “Istaqim Kama Aumert” and “Nur ad-Din”, it has taken the political decision to abandon its ambitions in Aleppo as well as the armed opposition within the city.
The Syrian army in Aleppo is advancing under air cover from the Syrian and Russian aviation supported by helicopters to meet the nature of the battle raging inside residential buildings and the city’s narrow streets.
It is clear that Turkey abandoned its allies within Aleppo to keep a zone of influence inside Syrian territory, Turkey’s primary concern is to prevent the Kurds of Syria from achieving the dream of a “Kurdish state” or “Kurdish federalism” along the shared border with Turkey, i.e. the line which runs from the city of Hasaka from the far east to Afrin in the extreme north-west of Syria.
The departure of more than 21,000 civilians from the east of Aleppo shows that the armed opposition has decided to allow civilians to leave, because they are a burden in the coming weeks if they intend to fight and resist.
And so the armed opposition, has no other option but to fight within an area that is shrinking by the hour, or to withdraw to the North, to Idlib, which is now congested with refugees and fighters who’ve left the areas liberated by the SAA. All those people constitute a nuisance to the Jihadists in Idlib, city administrators are trying their best to provide services but they are simply not equipped to accommodate these large numbers.
Al-Rai learned that “Russia will provide a safe passage for militants and civilians this week, and will not accept any self-management/rule of the civilian population, neither will they accept that non-jihadists (Translator’s note: the invisible and elusive “moderate opposition”) remain inside the city, nothing less than the departure of all armed groups to Idlib and the complete liberation of Aleppo.” Thus it is expected that the pace of the fighting remain in full swing until the armed opposition is convinced to give up a losing battle.
It is natural that the withdrawal of Jihadists relieves the SAA, considering that homeless civilians constitute undoubtedly a burden on Damascus. It is difficult, to say the least, to re-house them and provide services to refugee camps during the winter. For this reason, the Syrian army deliberately restored all civilians who have already left their homes in Eastern Aleppo to hundreds of liberated homes, especially within the densely populated Hanano distract, which was cleansed by Russian de-mining units that were brought to Aleppo on a private jet for this purpose and for the dismantling of all improvised explosives in East Aleppo.
Russia delivered 280 tons of food aid to more than a thousand families who have returned to the Eastern Aleppo districts that were liberated.
The armed opposition’s position or stance that they will not leave Eastern Aleppo is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction, that will change soon enough as the SAA continue their advance.
As usual, the different factions that constitute the opposition hurled insults and accusations at each other, which distracts them from the front and delays their attempt of unification. There are more than 100 opposition factions and dozens of smaller factions, making it impossible to merge them together except in case a small faction seeks protection and goes to a bigger one for protection such as what happened with Jund Al-Aqsa.
However, the real controversy is expected to explode in the city of Idlib, which has become overwhelmed by its population, a fact that may spark a new struggle between the different factions, given that they will be living in close quarters.
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