UN efforts to get a temporary humanitarian ceasefire in place in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo hadn’t been making much progress for months, but UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura suggests a breakthrough may finally have been made.
Mistura today announced that the Assad government has committed to a six week suspension of airstrikes in and around the city if a deal is reached. Getting the various other factions on board may still be difficult.
Still, Mistura described the offer as a “glimmer of hope,” and expressed hope that the rebels would follow up with similar offers, getting a ceasefire in place “as soon as possible.”
Before the Syrian Civll War, Aleppo was the nation’s financial and industrial capital. Rebels and military leaders both presented the fight over the city as a decisive battle that would lead to victory in the civil war, but a fight they each expected to win in a matter of days has lasted years, with no end in sight.
The city itself is virtually destroyed at this point, with many civilians trapped in districts constantly being contested militarily. Winning control of the city would be more symbolic than anything at this point, but every faction has invested so much blood and treasure in the city, they don’t feel they can abandon it.