“Do not forget Aleppo,” shouted immediately after firing the man who killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. Although it is impossible to know what went through his mind before committing the murder, a possible explanation is the vengeance against Russia for the bombardment that Vladimir Putin’s army has systematically applied over the Syrian city to help President Bashar al-Assad to end the Rebellious
Aleppo, the five thousand-year-old city that was part of the Silk Road and which before the war was considered Syria’s New York for its commercial activity, was split in two from mid-2012, when the rebels to the government of President Bashar al-Assad became strong in the eastern sector.
Lay and also Islamic, some of the rebels were funded by the US. And their allies. They had in common the goal of bringing down Assad and the ISIL jihadists.
The rebels thought that with international support they were likely to win, but the Syrian regular army alliance with Russia and Iran, which intervened through Tehran-financed Shi’ite Hezbollah militias, ended up stronger. Last week the rebels of the east of the city accepted their defeat and the totality of Aleppo returned to the control of the Syrian government.
The intervention of Russia was decisive. The front between east and west of Aleppo had not moved for long. The bombings led by Moscow to support the Syrian troops changed the axis of the conflict. As Isil’s recovery of Palmira shows, without the support of Russia and the Hezbollah Shiite militia, Syrian troops do not provide.
Al-Assad still faces the ISIL, strong in some regions of the country, but the fall of Aleppo is a powerful symbol: it shows the effective intervention of Russia and Iran. Logistically, it means releasing many resources from the Syrian army that were concentrated in the city. Now al-Assad’s forces can be distributed on other fronts.