Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aleppo Primed to Fall

It may take a few months, but it looks like Aleppo is primed to fall to the rebels. After months of painfully incremental progress, the rebels have made a major push in the south and appear to be circling around towards the artillery base and military academy at lightning speed, while seemingly halting regime advances in the center of the city. The airport is cut off and encircled--it will fall, freeing up forces there to push west.

The good news: Ending the fighting in Aleppo will bring relief to citizens there and likely grind down the administrative capacity/legitimacy of the regime (it would be like the US losing New York). 

The meh news: The regime won't walk away; it will simply retreat to protecting the western parts of the country where it is stronger.

The bad news: extremist Islamists make up an increasingly large and influential portion of the northern rebel movement (where the south is more controlled by the moderate/secular FSA)--if the regime does fall, there is likely to be an ongoing war between the FSA and these Islamist extremists (as well as an ongoing sectarian conflict).
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