Underscoring just how ugly the battle for territory in war-torn Syria can get, the rebels have captured “most” of a police academy in the Aleppo Province, following an eight day battle that left over 200 fighters dead.
The academy, in Khan al-Assal, was said to be a strategically important possession for government security forces, and its partial loss has been used by rebels to push the narrative of significant gains in the north of the country.
Yet at the same time, the huge death toll over what wound up to be just “most” of a single building suggests the rebels are still not routing the regime in any real sense, and that extremely bloody battles are making only minute changes in the landscape of the war.
Even whose side lost more fighters seems to be a matter of major dispute, with the rebels claiming 120 regime soldiers among the toll, which they put at 200. Government police, by contrast, insisted only 40 soldiers were killed, many of them today, and that they believed as many as 300 rebels were slain.