Syrian government begins ground assault on east Aleppo in push to retake city

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Update: Syrian cease-fire expires as US and Russia trade insults

aleppo
Rebels fight outside ruined buildings and cars in Aleppo.

After the collapse of the Syrian cease-fire, which basically did nothing to help the plight of Syrians civilians trapped in Aleppo because the government didn’t give the appropriate permissions for UN humanitarian aide to reach the city, the Syrian government has been going at Aleppo hard.

Aleppo, which is the capital of Syria, is a key hold-out for the rebels and one of the most important cities controlled by them. In fact, if the rebels lose Aleppo, it could signal the end of the Syrian civil war in favor of the Syrian government. Aleppo has been getting hammered by airstrikes since September 23rd, and the estimated death toll has been more than 400 people in just four days.

Russia is also supporting the Syrian government in the push, after the last wave of deal-making failed with the cease-fire. Troops from Iran and Iraq are also helping the Syrian government in the ground assault.

Secretary of State John Kerry threatened to end talks with Russia if they don’t end the assault on Aleppo immediately.

“The United States is making preparations to suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria, including on the establishment of the Joint Implementation Center, unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities,” Kerry said in a phone conversation with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to the State Department website.

The joint impementation center was a clause of the cease-fire that promised to set up a place for Russia and the US to work together to take out ISIS, but it failed because of too many violations by Russia, according to John Kerry.

I would be very surprised if Russia did suspend the invasion, given that they’re probably tired of their Syria policy being criticized by the US, and they will probably just criticize the US back. But such has been diplomacy with Russia for years.

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