Sunday, 20 November 2016

Why The Battle for Aleppo Is So Long and So Important

Siege of Petersburg during the American Civil War lasted for 9 months. Siege of Tobruk during World War 2 lasted for 8 months. The defense of Leningrad during World War 2 lasted 900 days. Tripoli in 2011 was taken in 8 days. The battle for Aleppo has raged since 2012 and so far neither side of conflict has a decisive advantage.

Aleppo is not the capital of Syria, but its population in 2012 was 2.1 million, more than in Damascus. It is a major industrial center, with a pre-war concentration of electrical, chemical, textile and pharmaceutical industries. Aleppo was responsible for 60% of export revenues to the national budget. The city is also home to are military schools such as the Al-Assad Academy, as well as weapons depots.

It should be noted that the opposition initiallywas not powerful in the western neighborhoods of the city. On the other hand, the eastern neighborhoods were populated mostly by recent immigrants from the countryside, the poor and the conservative-minded Muslims. At the same time, Western districts are hereditary residence of the residents, as well as the Christian minority.

The battle for Aleppo is regarded as crucial by all parties to the conflict. The opposition plans in case of victory in Aleppo to create a base for conducting further hostilities along the north-western border with Turkey. In turn, the SAA’s task is to prevent these developments, as well as the Turkish intervention “to stabilize own borders” that would follow.

Related Info:

Syrian War Report – November 18, 2016: Govt Forces Storming Eastern Aleppo

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, November 20th, 2016.]

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