During the fighting, the Syrian Kurds forced Turkish troops and Ankara-backed rebels to retreat from their territory, representative of the Syrian Kurdistan in Moscow,...
The US and Russia have committed to a ceasefire beginning Monday at sunset, which is to last for a week over the Eid holiday. The US-backed rebel groups are supposed to cease attacking government-held areas, although it appears increasingly likely that some rebel groups will refuse to implement the deal. The Assad government has agreed to allow humanitarian supplies into Aleppo.
Sadly, it’s a classic Middle East moment, when regional players’ mistrust of each other overwhelms their common interest in fighting the terrorist Islamic State. And, equally sadly, it’s a moment that illustrates the frailty of the United States’ Syrian policy, which has built its military plans on the treacherous fault line of Turkish-Kurdish enmity.
Since Turkey launched its invasion of Syria on August 24, mobilizing Syrian Sunni militia funded, armed and trained by the CIA, it has increasingly directed its firepower not against ISIS, but rather against the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Pentagon-backed formation dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
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.
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