THINK TANK: SENIOR
The Aleppo Front: Attacks and Counter Attacks
February 24, 2015 By Stephen Tuite
What initially looked like a stunning victory in Northern Aleppo for the Syrian Regime has turned into an apparent disaster that threatens to actually set the Assad regime in a worse position then it was before the offensive. It is also important to note that many reports are coming in regarding Iranians, Hezbollah and Shia Afghanis. This could be a reflection of the apparent manpower problem that the Syrian Regime reportedly finds itself in. It also could point to a distrust of the Sunni conscripts in the Syrian Arab Army. It has been reported that often Hezbollah or SAA special forces (which tend to be comprised of Assad’s true believers) are the groups that lead and conduct actual assaults.
Excellent Map produced by Tripoli مقدم الشام (@macroarch) | Twitter
Assad had recently suggested that he would be willing to stop using the Syrian Air Force to strike at targets in Aleppo for a period of six weeks. This would seem to point that he would be willing to implement the proposed UN “freeze” in Aleppo. It appears that the apparently failed offensive was an attempt to besiege opposition held Aleppo and then call for the proposed “freeze”. The opposition in Aleppo has already suggested that they will not support the UN’s plan and they are now even less likely to agree. Assad possibly knew this and was likely attempting to use the “freeze” plan to appear as a rational actor. Furthermore, the rejection of a ceasefire would give the Assad regime more cover if it decided to strike the besieged areas of Aleppo.
Whatever the intentions, it looks like this offensive has resulted in a large number of captured loyalist soldiers.
Which the opposition is eager to show they are treating well