Syrian troops have advanced in southern Aleppo Province today, gaining full control over the main road leading from government-held western Aleppo to the south, an important supply route for this half of the city. State media reported the road is likely to be opened to civilians within the next day.
While Syrian forces had already ended the rebel blockade of their half of the city, and imposed a blockade against rebel eastern Aleppo, this adds considerable security to the safety of the western half’s supply route. It remains to be seen if safe travel means a major civilian exodus from west Aleppo.
An upcoming ceasefire, agreed to by Russian and US officials earlier today, and meant to go into effect next week, should bolster the supply of aid to all parts of Aleppo, no matter who controls them. That the government controls the road into their own districts definitely improves their prospects.
The imminent ceasefire might increase the impetus on both sides for major last minute offensives, however, as both sides try to gain territory they couldn’t necessarily hold under normal circumstances, planning to reinforce them while the fighting is on hold.
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