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Syria Update: Siege of Aleppo broken

MAJOR SYRIA UPDATE: The rebels have successfully broken the siege of Aleppo. Since half of Aleppo is controlled by the rebels and the other half by the government, this means that the other half of Aleppo is now to all intents and purposes under siege. SRO, who has returned from the brink of death to give us more leaks from the rebel high command, says that the rebels will probably try to cut off the small supply route to the north as well. Depending on how much you read into his comments, there may also be assaults on Kafr and Nubl, and maybe Khanasir, with the goal being to completely expel the regime from the north.

This could also pave the way to more consolidation by the northern rebels into a single coalition. They had been split into Fatah Halab inside of Aleppo and Jaysh-al-Fatah outside of it, but Fatah Halab's leadership is a bunch of scrubs, and SRO seems to think that they're going to be absorbed by Jaysh al-Fatah. In another bid toward improving unity and improving relations with foreign sponsors, Jaysh al-Fatah's biggest member, Jabhat al-Nusra, has finally cut ties with al-Qaeda and rebranded itself as something forgettable (I think Jabhat Fatah al-Shams). This could be the beginning of a major resurgence for the rebels in the north. That said, there will almost certainly be a major regime/Russian counteroffensive.

We may also see ISIS try to take advantage of the situation by doing something sneaky, but their options are pretty limited. If they do try something, they'll probably either launch a pointless attempt against a well-defended position that's seen a lot of combat recently, like Palmyra, or they'll try to cut the road between Palmyra and Homs. Doing that would be a huge boon for them, but I don't think the terrain in that area would let them move the necessary materiel, and they badly need those resources elsewhere.

Bottom line: Bravo, Jaysh al-Fatah. You have fought like tigers and proven your skeptics wrong. The revolution lives on.

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