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Syrian endgame could begin with Aleppo

Aleppo could begin healing in Syria; Syrian armed group backed by US allies seeks caliphate; FSA leader says US “moving toward being a partner in crime” in Syria; Hagel says US Syria policy was paralyzed over "Assad must go."
Residents inspect damage at a site hit by what activists said were airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, Syria December 25, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah - RTX201R0

The meaning of Aleppo

The give and take over which opposition parties and individuals are represented in the peace talks may in the end be a sideshow for the real trend in Syria, which is the progress of the Syrian army, backed by Russia and Iran, in retaking territory from the Islamic State (IS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other armed groups. Who is winning on the battlefield matters more than who fills the chairs in Vienna or Geneva, although this is not to disparage the many positive contributions the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) can and will make to help Syria’s transition. But the Syrian endgame is more likely to be found in Aleppo rather than in well-intentioned ISSG meetings in European cities.

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