With people inside the Nusra Front-controlled half of Aleppo reporting the heaviest airstrikes they’ve seen in months of fighting, Syrian officials are being quoted in the nation’s state media as saying that the airstrikes are a preparatory move to set the stage for a full-scale ground invasion.
The official said the offensive would be “comprehensive,” and could last for quite some time, suggesting that the Syrian government may finally believe it has the advantage needed to take over the all-important city, a goal sought by several factions throughout the civil war.
Fighting over Aleppo began way back in 2012, with the government and the rebel factions of the time both predicting a quick victory, and saying the fight would be the decisive one in the Civil War. Instead, the fight quickly stalemated, and several other factions have joined in, trying to take the once hugely important city, but none successfully.
At this point, the city is divided roughly in half, with the government controlling one half, and the Nusra Front controlling the other. It remains to be seen, even if the government managed to take the whole city, how important it would be in the overall war anymore, since the city has been badly damaged by years of fighting.