Yesterday, Syrian rebels announced the beginning of a “decisive” battle to take over the city of Aleppo. Commander Abu Furat predicted a rout of the regime that would leave the city, Syria’s largest, in their hands by the end of the day.
As usual, things didn’t work out that way.
Some rebels were claiming the capture of a single contested neighborhood, while others reported they had actually lost ground and ended up surrounded. Either way, commanders concede, they are struggling to make any headway.
That’s the history of the battle of Aleppo, one of the most protracted and least impactful conflicts in the entire Syrian Civil War. Both rebels and regime sent reinforcements for days before the battle ensued. Both sides promised an easy and decisive victory.
A month later, the city is still contested and the damage is becoming so severe that the “prize” of Aleppo, once the nation’s financial and industrial capital, is going to be more symbolic than anything for whichever side eventually takes it. The locals, caught in the middle of the seemingly endless predictions of a quick win, continue to wait and suffer.