The “decisive” battle of Aleppo, which both Syria’s military and rebels insisted they had in the bag, is now about two years old, and while there is no sign of anything decisive yet, the Syrian military seems to be trying yet another military offensive on the city, once Syria’s most populous.
Large numbers of Syrian troops, backed by Hezbollah, are advancing on the city, taking some of the less well-guarded rebel positions, and setting their sights on a major battle for the city’s northern district.
Taking the north of Aleppo would put the rebels in a bad way, surrounded on two sides by the Syrian military, and weakening the supply lines. A similar process, though on a smaller scale, eventually allowed the military to retake Homs.
While the military is making it sound like the momentum is all theirs in Aleppo, we’ve heard similar predictions of victory from both sides countless times over the years, and rarely has anything significant changed hands from it.
Ultimately, with both sides putting some much rhetorical value behind control of Aleppo, neither is willing to give up without a major fight.