With talks scheduled tomorrow in Switzerland over the ongoing fighting in the Syria, the military is looking to secure some last-minute gains, with heavy Syrian and Russian airstrikes providing an opening for Syrian forces in the north of Aleppo to advance deeper into the city.
The airstrikes over the past week have resulted in large civilian casualties in the eastern portion of the city, which is largely held by the Nusra Front. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed heavy strikes today but offered no figures on new casualties.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today reiterated that his government intends to reclaim Aleppo militarily. The city was Syria’s industrial and financial capital before the civil war, but has been heavily contested since 2012, with huge amounts of damage and large death tolls, leaving open the question of how valuable to city is in the near term.
Assad said he hopes the conquest of Aleppo would provide a “springboard” for more military victories around the country. It’s unclear what the next targets would be if indeed this is successful, but it would likely allow Syria to refocus on fighting in Hama Province.
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