Anti-regime forces, an end to the Syrian civil war and the American effort to broker a ceasefire are all victims of the massive ground assault underway in opposition-held areas of Aleppo. It’s estimated that about 250,000 civilians are trapped inside those areas of the largest Syrian city (before the civil war cut it into segments) and all remain at risk as Syrian regime ground forces along with proxy fighters from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, moved on the various points of entry to Aleppo. The United States believes the intensity of the operation is proof that President Assad and his Russian patrons have no intention of finding a peaceful solution to the five-year old war but are now determined to fight on to victory. The assessment is shared by Assad’s allied forces. The massive assault of Aleppo is different than the typical Syrian army strategy of long-term bombing and attrition, so observers are watching to see whether the more aggressive – and devastating – approach will be applied in the Damascus area and in other places that are considered to be well-defended.
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