Adding to the pressure being put on Syrian military forces in the northern city of Aleppo, al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has carried out a suicide bombing against a Syrian Army post in a contested neighborhood today, killing at least 25 soldiers and wounded scores of others.
Several different rebel factions and the Syrian military are all contesting control of Aleppo, once Syria’s industrial and financial capital, and Syrian forces have been added reinforcements to the area trying to hold the parts of the city they still have.
When the battle for Aleppo began back in 2012, everyone was predicting it to be a decisive battle in the war, and were predicting they would win that battle in a matter of days. Years later, the battle is ongoing, and every new deployment of reinforcements has its faction predicting a momentum shift.
Aleppo was hugely valuable in 2012, but damage from years of fighting means it’s not clear what a winner will actually get out of controlling the city anymore. It would be a big PR win, to be sure, but sitting along the frontier between several factions’ territories, it will probably remain contested for the foreseeable future.