George Sabra: Rebels’ Loss of Aleppo Will Not Signal End of the Revolution

Opposition negotiator tells BBC that Aleppo is 'an important place for the revolution but it is not the last place'

Top Syrian opposition negotiator George Sabra said in an interview with the British BBC channel that the loss of the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, which is under opposition control, will not mean the end of the battle against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Sabra added, however, that the loss of Aleppo means that hope of reaching a peace deal has become more difficult.

Regime forces backed by Russian air power were able to take control over more than a third of the areas which were under opposition control in eastern Aleppo, pushing rebel groups to withdraw into more easily defensible areas.

Thousands of civilians from the besieged districts fled after heavy fighting at the start of the week.

Sabra, the chief negotiator for the High Negotiations Committee, told BBC that the loss of Aleppo would “not be the end of the revolution.”

He said that “Aleppo is an important place for the revolution but it is not the last place.”

“Right now, we have many places under the power of the Free Syrian Army.”

Sabra warned against the consequences of the military campaign which is being carried out by the regime and its allies, saying that it was “killing part of the political process.” He added that no one is thinking of a peaceful solution in light of the current circumstances.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Syrian rebel groups had lost 40 percent of the areas that were under their control.

Analysts believe that the loss of these areas is a painful blow to the opposition, which had been in control of the area since 2012.

Ibrahim Abou Laith, the official spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the “White Helmets,” said that in eastern Aleppo there is a major displacement of people which is severely affecting people’s morale.

Abou Laith added to the AFP news agency that people are sleeping in the roads and don’t have the money to buy food or water.

The United Nations expressed its “severe worry” and repeated its calls for bringing in humanitarian aid to the affected areas.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that about 10,000 Syrians had been displaced from eastern Aleppo to the areas under the control of Syrian government forces or under Kurdish control.

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.

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