As regime forces and their Russian and Iranian allies move to achieve victory over Aleppo and its people, several other fronts have been opened simultaneously, including the battles for Al-Bab — by the forces of the Euphrates Shield backed by Turkey — and for Raqqa — by the Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Additionally, the Islamic State group advanced noticeably toward Palmyra to retake control of the city with lightning speed amid doubts of collusion between the group and the regime.
With the continuation of bombardment with various weapons, including internationally banned munitions, and in light of the siege imposed by the regime forces on the blockaded eastern districts of Aleppo, Syrian government forces and Iranian militias fighting alongside them have managed to take control of more districts, most recently the Sheikh Saeed neighborhood, one of the largest opposition-held districts, in addition to Saliheen, Bab al-Maqaam and Al-Daadaa, as well as part of the Firdous neighborhood, reducing the number of districts remaining in opposition hands to 10, representing less than 25 percent of the area that they controlled 20 days ago.
Regime forces are trying to divide the remaining opposition-controlled areas and isolate them from one another through daily repeated incursions and extremely heavy bombardment, the worst the city has so far been subjected to, placing locals in a terrible position. Civilians have begun to wander through the demolished streets, unable to move to a secure location, with the failure of the international community and humanitarian organizations to secure a safe exit for them.
Activists have published bleak and heartbreaking images from inside the city as the destruction prevails over all the districts, as the people move unconsciously from one place to another in the hope that it will be safer. The health centers that still remain teem with dead and wounded with the remaining health staff unable to provide enough treatment after the destruction of the main hospitals along with their equipment.
The wounded in the streets also cannot find anyone to transport them after the destruction of all the civil defense centers, including their equipment, meaning wounded people trapped under rubble have died slowly without anyone able to remove them.
Civilians would not object to moving to areas under regime forces control, but these forces are not offering them a chance, activists said. No humanitarian paths have been opened despite the claims by the regime. While a number of young men were taken toward areas under regime control in western Aleppo to be conscripted and probably die in the ranks of the Bashar al-Assad regime forces.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.