reporting from Nairab Palestinian camp,
Aleppo. Syrian government forces and their Russian and Shia allies from Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere have now captured 75% of East Aleppo and will soon unite all of Aleppo, which eastern part rebels have held since 2012.
Having captured two days ago Tariq al-Bab. This morning, 12/7/2016, government troops and their militia allies are massively bombing rebel-held parts of the Old City. This follows the capture of an entire district of al-Shaar, as well as Sheikh Lufti, Marja, Aghiur and Bab al-Hadid, all key rebel strongholds.
In West Aleppo tonight, 12/7/2016 convoys of pro-government cars with horns honking and music blaring are driving around the streets celebrating recent regime advances.
Only the precise timing is unclear for the unification of Aleppo. UN Special negotiator Stefanos thinks it will happen by Christmas and so does Syrian Air Force intelligence officers at the Jibnine Reception Center near Nairab Palestinian camp ten miles north of Aleppo. The Jibnine Center is where all arriving East Aleppo refugees are processed. Hezbollah sources are betting on outing rebels from the east by mid-January, the Syrian army high command within 30 to 45 days, and Gen. Qassem Soleimani leader of the IRGC al-Quds force who is presently in Iraq commanding Shia forces near Mosul, told al-Mayadeen and al Manar on 11/30/2016 that it will take two months more.
Should "liberation" happen by Christmas, plans currently being discussed include President Assad coming to Aleppo to present his countrymen with a major military victory as a Christmas present and Abu Ali Putin may arrange another concert for Christmas as he did after Palmyra was recaptured. Some rumors include that the Russian President himself may appear symbolizing that symbolize Russia has now assumed America's former position in the region.
Of course none of us knows the exact timing of the regime victory here in Aleppo. Indeed some here speculate that the "terrorists" may be luring government forces deeper into an East Aleppo quagmire as part of a trap and quicksand strategy supplemented by massive tunnel bombs.
Most observers here credit Russia's game changing support for the Syrian army. But one also senses among some Syrian army forces a grudging respect of sorts for their fellow Syrians' tough battle hardened combat abilities. Sunni fighters in some parts of this millennia old "capitol city" of cultural heritage, despite massive bombardments and a surrender or die siege, are eagerly awaiting combat with Russian grounds forces that have been deployed last week been deployed to the side their Shia allies. This despite claims from Russia there are no Russian ground troops fighting in Aleppo. Russian TV crews based in the Meridian hotel claim to have seen the Russian troops. Truth being in first casualty of war as the cliche' has it.
Meanwhile, rebel forces and gathering just streets away toward the east as a number of Sunni militia join the recently formed, "Army of Aleppo." This new force is reportedly being formed into a Sunni Foreign Legion to confront this past year's construction of a Shia Foreign Legion, noted below.
Obviously no one knows for sure but here in Aleppo journalists, officials and regular citizens while expressing uncertainly about the timing are generally inclined to believe Aleppo will be geographically united under government control soon. This observer surmises that the rebels will indeed be pushed out of Aleppo within 60 days but contrary to some political agenda internet pundits who trumpet that the revolution in Syria is over; the war of attrition is taking shape.
Some here speculate that the "terrorists" may be luring government forces deeper into East Aleppo as part of a "trap and quicksand" strategy. Some Syrian army forces I have spoken with express a grudging respect of sorts for their adversaries' tough battle hardened combat abilities. Sunni fighters in some parts of this millennia old "capitol city" despite massive bombardments and surrender or die siege, are reportedly eagerly awaiting combat with Russian grounds forces that have been deployed last week alongside their Shia allies. Rebels forces have been gathering just streets away toward the east as many Sunni militia are joining the recently formed, "Army of Aleppo." This new force, noted below, is reportedly being formed into a Sunni Foreign Legion to confront the above described forming Shia Foreign Legion.
The Syrian crisis is not going to be over soon and rebels, including those who retreat from East Aleppo to Idlib or elsewhere are reportedly already launching insurgent strikes on soft and hard targets that may well continue for a generation or more. This, as what since the early 1970's has become known as the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) may continue to disintegrate.
Judged equally significant is the geopolitical development in Syria largely overlooked in the media and among .analysts. This is the fact that two significant metastasizing military forces have been forming in Aleppo recently and they will likely determine the future of the Middle East.