Daily Management Review

As Syrian Rebels Remain in Hope of More Weapons, the Army Closes in on Aleppo


As Syrian Rebels Remain in Hope of More Weapons, the Army Closes in on Aleppo
Even as Syrian rebels pounded by Russian air strikes expressed hope that the failure of Geneva peace talks would encourage their foreign backers to send better weapons, a Syrian army source said the city of Aleppo would soon be encircled by government forces.
There was no point to peace talks while Russia carried out attacks in Syria said Turkey, a major sponsor of the insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad. While denying that Russian servicemen were fighting on the ground, Moscow confirmed a Russian military trainer was killed in Syria this week.
Halting an effort that seemed doomed from the start as the war raged unabated on the ground, the United Nations on Wednesday suspended the first peace talks in two years.  A major rebel supply route for the Syrian rebels into strategically-important Aleppo, Syria's biggest city before the war began, was severed by government forces even as preparations for talks were being made.
Tens of thousands of refugees from Aleppo were moving towards the border due to air strikes, Turkey said on Thursday. after rebel advances earlier in 2015 that posed a growing threat to his control of crucial areas of western Syria, four months of Russian air strikes have tipped the momentum Assad's way.
The overstretched Syrian army is regaining ground on key fronts in the west, where Syria's most important cities are located with the help of Russian air power and allies including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iranian fighters on the ground.
A mosaic of groups in the west, Islamic State in the east, and Kurdish militia in the north has control over vast swathes of the country.
As donors convened in London on Thursday and the U.N. agencies sought billions in aid to help the victims of a conflict that has forced millions from their homes, the refugee crisis in Syria created by the five-year-long war moved back into focus.
The first steps in peace talks were undermined by increased aerial bombing. U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura announced a three-week pause, said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
"I think the special envoy decided to suspend the talks because the organisation did not want to be associated with the Russian escalation in Syria, which risks undermining the talks completely," a U.N. official told he media.
The five year old war in Syria has drawn in regional states, created millions of refugees and enabled the rise of Islamic State and with Washington and Moscow's support for opposite sides in the five-year-old war it essentially amounts to a global stand off from what could have been described as a local conflict.
While the U.S. State Department said the air strikes around Aleppo focused mainly on Assad's foes rather than the Islamic State militants Russia says it is trying to defeat, Moscow accuses Washington, which is backing opponents of Assad, of supporting terrorists.
There are strict areas of government and opposition control in Aleppo, 50 km (30 miles) south of the Turkish border. The army and its allies have launched major offensives to the south of the city against rebels, and to the east against Islamic State since the start of Russia's bombing campaign.