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.