Syr­ian gov­ern­ment presses in their of­fen­sive on Aleppo

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Forces back­ing Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad pressed their of­fen­sive Tues­day on Aleppo’s rebel-held zone from the south, af­ter cap­tur­ing ar­eas on other fronts in re­cent days. As re­in­force­ments ar­rived, in­clud­ing Shi­ite fight­ers from Iraq, the strat­egy ap­peared to be to re­take rebel-held ar­eas bit by bit, backed by mas­sive Rus­sian air­power, rather than risk a po­ten­tially costly all-out ground bat­tle.

Tues­day’s of­fen­sive on the city’s be­sieged rebel-held east­ern neigh­bor­hoods came a day af­ter Wash­ing­ton sus­pended di­rect U.S.-Rus­sian talks on a Syria cease-fire — a move U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry blamed on Rus­sia’s re­jec­tion of diplo­macy in fa­vor of help­ing As­sad’s gov­ern­ment.

The lat­est tac­tic of whit­tling away at rebel-held ar­eas of Aleppo rather than launch­ing an all-out of­fen­sive has proved suc­cess­ful in the past: The gov­ern­ment re­asserted con­trol of the sub­urbs of Da­m­as­cus.

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