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Rebels unlikely to find success in Aleppo

In light of divisions among rebel factions, it appears the battle for Aleppo will be long and drawn out, unlike the rapid progress they made in capturing Idlib.
A Free Syrian Army fighter fires a weapon inside a damaged building during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the frontline in Handarat area, north of Aleppo May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1E0J0

REYHANLI, Turkey — Rebel forces have scored gains in recent months in northern Syria, but the type of swift progression they made in Idlib province will be difficult to replicate in Aleppo, Syria’s economic heartland, where the rebels as well as forces loyal to the regime are heavily entrenched.

Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest), which advanced in Idlib and has had several branches pop up around the country, including Qalamoun, has established an operating base dubbed Fatah Halab (Conquest of Aleppo) in Aleppo. On July 21, it had announced the launch of an attack against al-Foa and Kafr, two Alawite villages in Idlib still in the hands of the regime, in retaliation for an onslaught against Zabadani, an area close to the Lebanese border, by Hezbollah and the National Defense Forces.

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