According to Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki, the Russian government has agreed to back a new Syrian military offensive in Aleppo Province, aimed at the area south of Aleppo, along with the major city of Aleppo itself.
This is surprising, as previously Russia had indicated their support for the Palmyra offensive would be the last major push for them, and that they wanted Syria to focus on making progress on a peace deal after that city was reclaimed from ISIS.
Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra has been pushing into southern Aleppo recently, however, and that seems to be a major excuse for this new push. Halaki insisted the offensive would focus on non-signatories to the ceasefire, along with their allies involved in “violations.”
That’s likely to rile the rebels, who are already complaining about the status of the ceasefire, saying they believe it’s on the verge of collapse. Despite both sides complaining a lot about violations, death tolls within the territory of factions participating in the ceasefire are down dramatically.
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