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If Assad can bomb people with Russia`s help, the West should help to bomb Assad

By Editorial Desk
29th-Nov-2016       
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Syrian government forces appear to have taken the final move to take eastern Aleppo, which may in turn bring the decisive victory to President Assad's bid to defeat the rebels and end the war.

Without a strategy in place, the west appears ready now to accept president Assad to continue in power betraying the Syrian people fighting for their rights and abandoning them to be killed by the despotic regime.

The government forces have captured a key part of eastern Aleppo, splitting rebel-held territory on November 28. Both state TV and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the district of Sakhour had fallen to the Syrian army.

The Syrian army and their allies launched a major offensive to retake control of Aleppo in September. Thousands of civilians have left rebel-held eastern Aleppo districts after a weekend of heavy fighting. Hundreds of families have also been displaced within the besieged area.

Retaking the whole of Aleppo, Syria's second largest city, is a key aim of the Syrian regime in its fight against rebels. State TV quoted a Syrian military source as saying that government forces are continuing their advance in eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo.

The east of Aleppo has been held by rebel factions opposed to President Bashar al-Assad for the past four years. In the past year, Syrian troops have broken the deadlock with the help of Iranian-backed militias and Russian air strikes Russia says its air force is active in other parts of the country, but not operating over Aleppo.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said as many as 10,000 residents fled to government-controlled western areas and a Kurdish-run northern district. Syrian state media put the number at more than 1,500, while Russia said that 2,500 civilians had left. Government forces captured Sakhour neighbourhood, splitting the rebel-held area into two. Some 250,000 people are believed to remain in eastern Aleppo, where food and medical supplies have all but run out.

Aleppo was once a place of culture and commerce, with a jewel of an old city that was on Unesco's list of world heritage sites. Now, the five-year civil war that rages in Syria has left much of it destroyed and divided roughly in two, with President Bashar al-Assad's forces controlling the west and the rebels the east.

Aleppo matters because it is one of the few major urban areas to be held - in this case partially - by the rebels. Before the war the city was Syria's great commercial centre, and it thus represents a key strategic and psychological prize. As long as parts of the city are held by the rebels, it is a thorn in the government's side. But if captured by government forces it would be an important step in ensuring Russia's main strategic goal: the survival of a pro-Assad state with effective strategic depth, making President Assad a factor that would have to be dealt with in any future peace arrangements.

This is why Russian forces have been operating in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria for a year. Their impact has been significant. When they arrived, there were fears that government forces were close to collapse. This position has largely been reversed. It is the Syrian government - while still fragile - that is now on the offensive with a brutal bid to recapture the whole of the city of Aleppo.

Initially seen by US analysts through the prism of recent Western military involvements in the region, many pundits were quick to dismiss the Russian effort as likely to fail. The Russian military, it was said, was not up to expeditionary warfare. Russia would quickly find itself bogged down in a Syrian quagmire. This myth was quickly dispelled, as the Russian army proved effective enough to plan, execute, and sustain such a large operation. Unlike Syria and Iran, its main aim is to continue fighting while negotiating to the point that no true rival for Assad remains, leaving no viable alternatives for the West to look up to by 2017 or 2018.

Even the United States was compelled not just to deal with Russia as a diplomatic equal but also to shift its own stance towards the Assad government to one - that for all the obfuscation - falls well short of its long-time insistence that President Assad had to go, as the essential pre-condition for any negotiated settlement. All of this was due to the Russian military operation.

The West and the United Nations are not doing anything effective to discourage Russia to help Assad in killing Muslims only to have control over the land of Syria. The people of Syria are not important. When Russia is so active to help Assad, then why the West should not bomb Assad to save the Syrian people, who are mostly Muslims.

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