Syrian ground troops continue to gain territory at a rapid pace in the contested city of Aleppo, and today the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Old City district, which troops just entered yesterday, has already fallen outright, forcing rebels out of one of their last territories in the major city.
The rebels, as is often the case, downplayed the losses, saying that they have not totally abandoned the Old City and are still fighting there. The rebels had similarly denied that the troops had even entered the Old City yesterday, and while the fighting may well be raging, their territory continues to shrink.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was upbeat about it in an interview, saying that the “upcoming victory” in Aleppo would change the entire course of the war, and be a “huge step” toward ending the Civil War outright..
Syrian factions have insisted Aleppo would be the key to the war since it was first contested in 2012, though what is left of Aleppo after years of heavy fighting is far from the city which was once Syria’s financial and industrial capital. Though the publicity value of such a victory is still huge, it’s not at all clear what practical value it will have on the ground anymore, beyond allowing a shift of forces to contest other areas for whoever ultimately controls it.
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