Fall of Eastern Aleppo Marks Turning Point for Syrian Civil War

Defeat is imminent for the Syrian rebels in eastern Aleppo as government forces, supported by Russian airstrikes and Iranian militias, take control. The UN Security Council had been advised by a UN envoy that the city, once Syria’s largest, was at risk of becoming a “giant graveyard.” Rebels and civilians are trapped, and eastern Aleppo lacks food, water and other basic services. “Civil wars are always brutal, but Syria’s stands out for the sheer scale of casualties, refugees and infrastructure destruction,” notes author and journalist Dilip Hiro. Syria’s war became a proxy fight between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as between the United States and Russia. “War grinds on as long as outside powers maintain sufficient interest.” Russia began military intervention in September 2015 ostensibly to target terrorists – but its definition includes any group raising arms against an established government, no matter how brutal. Victory for the Assad regime strengthens Russian and Iranian influence in the region, a setback for the United States, Saudi Arabia and other allies. – YaleGlobal