ISTANBUL — On Dec. 9, Russia announced its control of most of the opposition-held areas of eastern Aleppo, after having raided the eastern neighborhoods in the wake of the fierce military campaign launched Nov. 15. The eastern neighborhoods, which accommodate around 250,000 civilians, had been in the grip of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) since 2012.
Russia used different types of weapons in its campaign supporting President Bashar al-Assad, which it had brought to the Mediterranean shores intermittently during 2016 to pave the way for taking over Aleppo. The campaign reached its peak Dec. 5, when the Syrian army and foreign militias took control of Aleppo’s old fortress, and the neighborhoods started to slip from the grip of the opposition. The Syrian regime and its allies ultimately controlled the entire city and reached an agreement to move the citizens from eastern Aleppo to its countryside.