Assad Retakes Aleppo: The Military Operation Is Over, Says Russian Envoy

Tyler Durden's picture

The Syrian war is on the verge of the biggest shift in the balance of power since 2011, with the Assad regime - with support from Russian forces - having retaken Aleppo. And, as Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin notes, an arrangement has been reached for militants to leave the besieged areas of eastern Aleppo “within hours”, confirming earlier media reports that Assad is about to have full reign of the hotly contested city - a symbolic center of the anti-Assad insurgency.

As RT futher adds citing Churkin, "the military operation in Eastern Aleppo is now over, and the Syrian government has begun restoring control."

"My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city," Churkin said Tuesday ahead of the emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York. According to Churkin, the militants, who have been holed up in eastern Aleppo for years, are scheduled to leave the city "within hours."

While this marks the biggest victory for Assad, and his Kremlin-based backers, it is also the biggest regional humiliation for the US ally-backed Syrian "rebels", who have just lost their biggest resistance outpost.

The envoy added that the withdrawal of militant fighters will put the city under the control of the Syrian government and there will be no need for eastern Aleppo residents to leave their homes.

During his speech at the meeting, Churkin told the UNSC members that the “counterterrorist operation in Aleppo will conclude in the next few hours.” The fighters are currently leaving the city through corridors that they chose themselves, including ones leading to Syria’s Idlib province, Churkin stressed.

"The counter-terrorist operation in Aleppo will be completed within a few hours. All the militants along with their families and the wounded are now withdrawing through the agreed corridors in the directions they themselves have chosen, including in the direction of Idlib,” the Russian envoy said.

An official with one of the militant groups in Aleppo earlier told Reuters that an agreement had been reached with Russia on Tuesday, while another rebel representative reported, “There are signs of a breakthrough in the coming hours.” However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies to "urgently allow the remaining civilians to escape" Aleppo and facilitate humanitarian aid access to the city.

"In recent days and hours, we appear to be witnessing nothing less than an all-out effort by the Syrian government and its allies to end the country's internal conflict through a total, uncompromising military victory," Ban told the UN Security Council.

Aleppo has been divided between the government forces and the militants since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. However, in recent weeks, the Syrian Army has made significant gains in eastern Aleppo and is close to liberating it from the militants.

* * *

So what happens next? Here is a  quick primer from Bloomberg on "life after Aleppo's fall."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, assisted by Russia and Iran, is on the verge of re-taking Aleppo in what would be the biggest victory for his troops against rebels in almost six years of civil war. Assad says he’ll turn his attention to the remaining rebel strongholds. His opponents vow to keep fighting in the absence of a political solution. There could be a surge in guerrilla conflict in areas reclaimed by Assad’s troops, while jihadists look to exploit any weaknesses. The world’s reaction to all this may depend on the emerging relationship between Russia and the incoming U.S. president, Donald Trump.

 

1. Is an end to fighting any closer?

 

Much of eastern Aleppo, a symbolic center for the anti-Assad insurgency, is in ruins, leveled by Syrian and Russian bombing that led European and U.S. officials to speak of possible war crimes. But the opposition isn’t ready to give up. “Aleppo is an important place for the revolution, but it’s not the last,” George Sabra, chief negotiator for rebel forces, told the BBC in November. Assad agrees. “Aleppo will be a gain, but to be realistic, it doesn’t mean the end of the war,” he said in an interview with pro-government al-Watan newspaper published on Dec. 8.

 

2. Where will Assad focus next?

 

Assad said in October Aleppo would serve as “the springboard” for other offensives, singling out Idlib. His regime lost almost all of this region -- about 60 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of Aleppo near the Syrian-Turkish border -- in mid-2015. Idlib borders Latakia, the heartland of the Assad regime, and is close to the Damascus-Aleppo highway.

 

3. Who’s winning?

 

Taking Aleppo, whose eastern neighborhoods had been held by rebels since 2012, will give Assad control over Syria’s biggest cities, representing more than 40 percent of the country’s territory and about 60 percent of its people. But Syria has distinct areas outside Assad’s base in the west, including Kurdish-held enclaves in the north, Islamic State controlling much of the east, and other groups left with shrinking pockets of influence.

 

4. How will the nature of the conflict change?

 

Some 150,000 rebels, including jihadists, are fighting Assad, and they’ll be assuming a more prominent role, according to Charlies Lister, a senior scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “The biggest losers from Aleppo’s collapse are Syria’s moderate opposition groups, which had remained the city’s primary actors ever since conflict first erupted there in early 2012,” he wrote. In northern Syria, the mainstream opposition looks set to “transform itself into a guerrilla-style insurgency in 2017,” he added.

 

5. What does all this mean for Assad?

 

He’ll have a hard time keeping local and foreign militias in check and administering cities he controls. That’s been the case in Homs and most recently the historic city of Palmyra, where Islamic State took advantage of the focus on Aleppo to attack a city it had held until March. “Aleppo will be even more difficult to police and stabilize,” said Raphael Lefevre, author of “Ashes of Hama: the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.” Insecurity has persisted in areas liberated from rebel control, he said, with civilians threatened by outbreaks of criminality and revenge attacks.

 

6. Will other nations intervene?

 

The big unknown hanging over the future of the conflict is the shifting agendas of global and regional powers. Will Russia and Iran stand by Assad if he continues to insist on reconquering the entire country? With their support, Assad is in a better shape than he was before Russia’s intervention more than a year ago. What will Turkey do? Its forces in neighboring Syria are combating both Islamic State and Kurdish fighters linked to the PKK, a group that has been considered Turkey’s main terrorist threat since the 1980s.

 

7. How might Trump change things?

 

The U.S. president-elect has said he’s open to a more cooperative relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and has vowed to concentrate on defeating Islamic State rather than helping rebels defeat Assad. That could give Russia a freer hand to press for a military victory in Syria that boosts its status as a great power in the Middle East.

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E.F. Mutton's picture

Obama takes credit in 3...2...1...

ACES FULL's picture

Assad retakes what little is left of Aleppo.

samjam7's picture

A truly historic moment, NATO, Zionists and Neo-Cons defeated in Aleppo. When was the last time they failed like this in the mid-east? One needs to go back a looong time in history....

One can only imagine how they must be fuming now, a glimpse provided George Osborne today while speaking at the House of Commons http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-osborne-aleppo-syri...

I truly hope this is the turning of the tide for the region, Obama's failure is a victory for the people of the mid-east! But the work is only beginning. 

Ignatius's picture

Note the language on the map:  "Syrian regime," "rebel forces."

Try "democratically elected leader" for one, and "foreign terrorists" for the other.

My favorite is "moderate rebels."  What's "moderate" about running around with guns and enforcing your will on others?

Yukon Cornholius's picture

The presstitutes always use the term "Fall of Aleppo" rather than the 'liberation of Aleppo' too. Their midgames never end.

researchfix's picture

Yes, but espacially in Germany this "fall" took a strong headwind. Because we know about "falls" galore since Nazi Germany. Even Berlin had some kind of "fall" in 1945.

 

X_in_Sweden's picture

Talkin' about Germany....

*Hilter Learns Aleppo Is Liberated*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5G0a3CmvhI&feature=youtu.be

ENJOY....

CNONC's picture

Reading SyrianPerspective I see.

X_in_Sweden's picture

Yepp!

http://syrianperspective.com/

has a lovely way of describing the actual 'desposal' of the jihaddis.

;)  X-

Burn the straw man's picture

It was good , but you need some reality to it so rather than Hitler , it should have been Bibi , Kissinger , Soros , the Rothschilds and David Rockefeller, in there as they are the true cause of the Syrian conflict and every conflict in the past 60 years throw their Zionist sicko parents in and it goes back to Napoleons era .

Andrew Mellon's picture

Also the Syrian Army was described as the " Regime Forces".

HenryHall's picture

Fighting the American-backed moderate jihardists.

land_of_the_few's picture

Prepare to see lots of discarded white helnets too. I hear those don't stop sniper rounds so good.

Ignatius's picture

Vanessa Beeley, reporting from Aleppo, says no one in Aleppo knows who the "White Helmets" are.  They've never heard of them.  Perhaps it is/was nothing but a psyop -- if there's pictures it must be real.  Through the looking glass.

the phantom's picture

"Rebels have chosen their own corridor to Idib province."--- I hope Russia promptly sends a few Kalibr cruise missles to greet them.

813kml's picture

The CIA sent a bunch of Ubers to get them to the next frontline.

East Indian's picture

Toyotas and used cars sold by plumbers...

rodocostarica's picture

 Looking at that map i would say there is a good chance our new commander in chief using his business mind will say. Ok let’s pour in weapons to the Kurds in the north who have been good loyal fighters. Promise them a country of their own if they meet objectives. Keep up the pressure in the north.

Work with the Russians and close that gap there in Idlib as they can’t be getting resupplied. Then close out and flank the pocket of terrorists (US supplied I assume) that are hanging out between Homs and Hams.

Then work south to the areas near and south of Damascus.

Hell I never was a military guy but seems to me that if they keep hammering these terrorists (and after January 20th hopefully no more US military assistance to these killers) they can kill the  scumbags.  

Make sure Putin knows Trump is with them. Maybe Trumps rally cry to eliminate ISIS in 3 months will happen before or shortly after he put his hand on the bible. No need to send US troops?

Go Trump!! Wipe these terrorists out.

 

 

Motasaurus's picture

What do you think Turkey is doing in Syria? Why do you think Russia hasn't bombed the shit out of their tanks?

Turkey is there fighting the Kurds because they don't want a Kurdistan. Russia is letting them because they don't want the US arming the Kurds agaisnt Assad.  

delacroix's picture

what about the terrorists occupying the golan heights?

Yukon Cornholius's picture

The rebels' chief negotiator is named Sabra. That's all you need to know about the Rebels.

luckylongshot's picture

Having watched the MSM portraying this as the Syrian army - having allowed the terrorists to leave -will now go on a killing spree, murdering the people they have been fighting to liberate, it is obvious those funding the terrorists are not reacting well.

Truther's picture

Obama: Maaan I hate this.... Even if you take me out to see it'll dry up.

Oldwood's picture

Are we SURE this isn't more Russian "fake news"?

Truther's picture

Putin:"Check Mate Bitch."

Bingo Hammer's picture

I appreciate the sentiment but you obviously don't play chess

Blankone's picture

How is it check mate when Putin forced the Syrians to allow the terrorists to safely walk away.  They will rest up, be rearmed and attack again.  This is the third time Putin has betrayed those who fought the terrorists by forcing a ceasefire upon the Syrians/Hezbollah once they were set to destroy a force of terrorists.

What about the horrible crimes committed by them.  The mass executions, beheadings, tortures will now all go unpunished.  If I was a Syrian who lived there and saw it, saw my family members butchered and city destroyed only to have to watch those responsible casually walk away I would feel cheated and betrayed.

BarkingCat's picture

Normally in the past I have upvoted your contrarian viewpoint but not this time.

The agreement makes sense as it get the "rebels" out if the city and allows for retaking of the city without further civilian casualties and military fatalities. 

It also gets the "rebels" out of their fortified position.

 

 

Blankone's picture

It gets the terrorists out of their fortified positions with complete Safe Passage to another city.  (Again)

This policy has shown the terrorists (for a third time) that they are free to take a city, murder and worse and then when the fight goes against them they can simply call out "ceasefire" and safely walk/drive out.  Rinse and repeat, sometimes at a previously held city.

 

 

East Indian's picture

Putin is trying to drive the Jihadis into Europe.

Hopeless for Change's picture

Well, since Assad was his "Boogeyman", he will be taking credit for losing?

E.F. Mutton's picture

Obama never loses.  Just ask him.

Joe Mama 3's picture

Mishun Ucomplished !!!!!!!

Cole The Bar's picture

I hope the Kurds end up with their own Country after all this.

researchfix's picture

Would like that somehow. But that would be the next US vasall on that continent. Won´t happen, plan is to sweep US from Asia.

Yog Soggoth's picture

The Iraqi Kurds are much happier now that a budget has been agreed upon and Trump is coming into power. The Kurdish peoples are resilient and will likely survive any outcome.

NugginFuts's picture

"What's an Aleppo?"

Skiprrrdog's picture

The retarded Marx brother they kept in the attic...

ThirdWorldDude's picture

You seem to have a shitty job... My condolences.

AlexCharting's picture

The only strain of weed Johnson has left to try. 

undertow1141's picture

A really nice soap with laurel tree oil.

skeelos's picture

It's what Gary Johnson feeds his dog.

clade7's picture

Australian slang for Leprechaun?

BritBob's picture

Russians simply can't be trusted.

 

Russia is a member of the UN C24 decolonisation committee and supports Spain's claim to Gibraltar. (supporting the lesser adversary). So much for the human and democratic rights of the people of Gibraltar and so much for that so-called sovereignty claim: Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa...

 

Another example of bad politics.

equity_momo's picture

No one gives a fuck about Gibraltar ; Britains navy is smaller than a Russian oligarchs yaught collection.

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Gibraltar is a diversion. The Falklands should be our focus.

Emergency Ward's picture

Our gracious Queen, happy and glorious, long to reign o'er us, from the Falklands to the Rock of Gibraltar.