By Fabrice Balanche
As of July 28, the Syrian army had completely cut off the Castello Road, which links East Aleppo with areas outside the city. Crucial in this development was the supporting role of the U.S.-backed People’s Defense Units (YPG), based in Aleppo’s Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud.
Aleppo’s rebel-controlled districts are now surrounded by the Syrian army and Shiite militias that support it. Having pursued just this objective since January 2014, when the Syrian regime began heavily bombing the city’s eastern districts to drive out the civilian population, Assad and his allies can now claim a major victory. Russian air support proved decisive in the effort, crushing rebel defenses with a barrage of ordnance.