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Jihadis Reported To Be on the Verge of Surrender in Aleppo

Dec. 7, 2016 (EIRNS)—In the past 24 hours, the Syrian Army has further reduced the jihadi-held pocket in eastern Aleppo, liberating the Old City and several districts to the east and south of the historic Citadel. The Jihadist rebels of Fatah Halab have surrendered almost all of the districts of Old Aleppo after the Syrian Army’s swift advances west of the Aleppo International Airport risked splitting them apart from their comrades further south, reported Al Masdar yesterday. This comes after a massive rebel counteroffensive failed to yield any gains.

In some districts, militants are surrendering according to terms of an agreement between Turkey and Russia to evacuate some militants to Idlib province. Al Masdar reports that army personnel entered the districts of Kadi Asker and Bab Al-Hadid, today, after the jihadis left as per the agreement. The Wall Street Journal reports, today, that unnamed militant groups are seeking a five-day ceasefire in order to evacuate civilians and the wounded, "a tacit admission by the opposition that it has been all but defeated in a critical battlefront of the war." Under the plan that they’ve proposed, if a deal is reached, the government and rebels would negotiate the future status of the city, the Journal reports.

The Russian reconciliation center reported today that the Syrian army, has now freed 47 districts from jihadi occupation in the last two weeks. How is it that the army, after nearly six years of war, and reaching a nadir in mid-2015 when the West was writing obituaries for Syrian President Bashar al Assad, was able to clear so many districts of the city of jihadi occupation? Former DIA officer retired Col. Patrick Lang, in a Dec. 5 blog posting commenting on a video posted on Al Masdar showing Syrian infantry working with tanks in Aleppo, explains:

"This combat footage of Syrian armor and infantry fighting as a team in East Aleppo is impressive. I know what this is supposed to look like and this is the real deal.

"The two groups are closely coordinated as one team and move forward using each other’s capabilities as reinforcing combat power.

"What has happened in the cauldron of the civil war is that a new force has appeared in the Levant. A new Syrian Arab Army now exists thanks to Russian training, equipment, and advice. [emphasis added—ed.] At the same time the old truism, ’whatever does not kill you makes you stronger’ applies.

"The after action effects of combat stress toward the end of the film is in many ways the most impressive thing. I have seen brave men weep and tremble in exactly the same way coming out of a hard fight."

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