Panic in Aleppo as Syrian Military, ISIS, Other Forces Advance on City

Key Northern City and Supply Lines Become a Centerpiece of the War

The ever-growing displacement of civilians across Syria continues to grow, with more and more civilians fleeing from the wreckage of Aleppo and the surrounding area amid offensives and counteroffensives by multiple major factions, including the Syrian military, ISIS, and other rebel groups aimed at the city.

The focus of the ISIS offensive in the villages just north of the city, with an aim to secure a supply line between Aleppo itself and their holdings elsewhere in the province, centered on Jarabulus. Rival rebels have contested control over those villages to some extent.

The Syrian military, meanwhile, has its own offensive going in Aleppo, backed by Shi’ite militias. This is one of two different offensives the military has going, the other in neighboring Hama, both aimed at securing supply routes between those cities and the capital of Damascus.

Syria’s financial and industrial capital at the start of the civil war, a rebel offensive against the city early on was presented by both sides as a decisive battle on the conflict, with the winner bound to have an enormous advantage, Unfortunately for all involved, the battle stalemated for years on end, and now Aleppo is a segmented mess of rubble and walled off districts held by competing powers. The value of the city has dropped a lot, but its location still makes it valuable as a staging ground for the war elsewhere in the country, keeping everyone competing for control of what’s left.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.