Rebels Abandon Northeastern Aleppo as Syrian Military Advances

Rebels Suffer Biggest Defeat in Aleppo Since 2012

A weekend of losses for the Nusra Front-led rebels in Syria’s Aleppo continued to mount on Monday, with the rebels announcing that they have abandoned nearly a third of their holdings in the city, materially the whole northeastern portion, in an attempt to try to get into a more defensible position.

Syrian airstrikes began a week ago, softening up the rebel positions after several weeks of Russian-imposed ceasefire. the advance on the ground began Friday, and the rebels are now describing their losses as the biggest defeat within the city of Aleppo since 2012.

2012 is when Aleppo first started being contested, early in the Syrian Civil War, with rebels and government officials both predicting a quick victory and that the battle would be the decisive one in the war. The fighting remains far from resolved, and by extension, Syria’s Civil War has continued to rage.

Syria’s pre-war financial and industrial capital, Aleppo may at one point really have been a decisive holding in the country. After years of intensive fighting, however, the city is so badly damaged it isn’t clear that even if one side gains control of what remains will be more than a PR victory.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • Gary Sellars

    “the Nusra Front-led rebels”

    Rebels? Is the word “terrorist” REALLY that difficult to say or type??????

    • Or “jihadis”.

    • The two terms are not mutually exclusive. Some of them may be terrorists (persons who attack civilian non-combatants with the aim of terrorizing a population into forcing a change in that population’s government’s policy). All of the are rebels (persons attempting to overthrow an existing regime).

      • Gary Sellars

        Given that JaN are an Al-Qaeda affiliate, I assert that they are ALL terrorists. Pls don’t bother with that silly argument that they are no longer terrorists becuase they have publicly “disavowed” the alliance. Once a Wahabbi terrorist, always a Wahabbi terrorist.

        • I’m not arguing that they aren’t terrorists. If they’re terrorists, they’re terrorists.

          They are, however, indisputably rebels.

          Your argument is that if I call you Gary instead of Sellars, I’m concealing something.

  • Bianca

    Do we have to repeat the refrain — eppo does not matter, it will be only PR victory. Ehy is it so important to our antiwar site to pretend that “rebels” in Alrppo are not terrorists and that liberating Aleppo does not matter to population captive for years. Why is it necessary to please neocons and steadfastedly refuse to humanize al-Nusra victims. As Al-Nusra is moving their families with them — the stories are circulating about “revolutionaries concern for population”. Nausiating. Good news is that finally thousands have been able to leave once Al-Nusra withdrew. Aleppo is significant for the viability of Idlib. As various groups have been migrated there — without Al-Nusra command they are lost. And such new center cannot be recreated in Idlib area.
    In-fighting already started with some groups wanting to join Turkey FSA remnants, others are not sure who is actually in charge. Al-Nusra outside Aleppo has no authority to control all others. As for other fronts — I would say that “raging” is not the correct description. With Goutha areas being resolved, the key issues remain Idlib, Al-Bab, Kurdish expansion and Raqqa governorate. But those are also both political and international issues, not merely Syrian Army problem.

    • Gary Sellars

      Agreed, and it’s a big concern to me that “Antiwar” writers seem to deliberately shielding terrorists from the public view.

      Antiwar won’t get a single shekel from me unless they start to call a spade a spade.

      • If you think’s writers are deliberately shielding terrorists from public view, you should probably spend your money on psychiatric care instead of donating it to us anyway.

  • Believe it or not, Ditz, West Aleppo wasn’t looted by the cannibals to send everything to Turkey, like the east was, and therefore still has its factories and infrastructure almost intact. It won’t take long to get everything going again.