The battle over the city of Aleppo, in northern Syria, was supposed to be the decisive fight of the Syrian civil war, and both sides were predicting victory in a matter of days. Years in, the stalemate continues.
With the city, once the industrial and financial capital of the nation, is in ruins, and the UN is pushing for some ceasefire zones within the city to enable the import of more humanitarian aid.
Locals have heard this before time and again, and most are pessimistic about the chances of the pact being reached, let alone holding long enough for meaningful aid to come in.
The issue is that neither the government nor the rebels, which in the city are dominated by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, trusts the other to follow through if a deal is signed, nor are they inclined to enter into a deal in the first place.