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BREAKING: Aleppo Has Fallen

In what might be part of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 49, which seems to shortly proceed Isaiah 17:1, Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces have achieved total victory in Aleppo (in proximity of biblical Arpad - see Jeremiah 49:23) after a massive "doomsday" bombardment.  The remaining rebel forces have surrendered or are fleeing to Idlib.

Here is a telling excerpt from The New Yorker:

Aleppo has been part of human history for some five thousand years. Abraham is said to have grazed his sheep on its slopes and donated their milk to the local poor. Alexander the Great founded a Hellenic settlement there. The city is cited in the Book of Samuel and Psalm 60, and for centuries its residents reflected the three great Abrahamic faiths. It was at one end of the ancient Silk Road, and a major metropolis in the many empires that conquered and ruled the region. Its medieval Citadel, pivotal during the Crusades, is one of the world’s oldest and largest castles. More recently, Shakespeare referred to Aleppo in both “Macbeth” and “Othello.”

The Battle of Aleppo, which since 2012 has pitted the despotic government of President Bashar al-Assad against an array of disorganized opposition rebels, now appears to be over. A deal to allow the safe passage of the last opposition fighters, their families, and any civilians who want to leave—an end to the agony—was brokered Tuesday by Russia and Turkey. “All militants, together with members of their family and the injured, currently are going through agreed corridors in directions that they have chosen themselves voluntarily,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the U.N. Security Council...

Much of the famed city, the largest in Syria, has already been destroyed. The Old City has been gutted. The destruction has been compared to that at Stalingrad and in the Warsaw Ghetto. In a crescendo of cruel air strikes, which have escalated since the summer, eastern Aleppo fell this week to the government forces holding the city’s western half.

The savagery had become primordial. On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of dozens of summary executions by government forces, hundreds of “missing” men, and atrocities against women and children during the final military push. At a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the Aleppo crisis, on Tuesday, France’s U.N. Ambassador, Franรงois Delattre, said, “The worst humanitarian tragedy of the twenty-first century is unfolding before our eyes.” The International Red Cross warned of a “human catastrophe” as Aleppo plunged into chaos. “Every hour, butcheries are carried out,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. On Tuesday, it said that some six thousand boys and men had been detained after fleeing rebel-held areas.

The fall of Aleppo is the biggest victory for Assad in the grisly six-year war, which has killed more than four hundred thousand people and left more than half of Syria’s population, originally twenty-two million, dependent on international aid for daily survival. The odds were always against the rebel groups, which were outnumbered and outgunned by a government with airpower—and Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese Shiite forces to back it up. In the final days in the east, they basically collapsed.

“They don’t have much time. They either have to surrender or die,” Syrian Lieutenant General Zaid al-Saleh told reporters on Monday, as he toured part of the recaptured city. Bedraggled civilians—long under siege and without hospitals, since the last one was bombed this fall—fled eastern Aleppo in droves.

The Assad dynasty’s conquest of Aleppo is a boon to the Russians, who covet Syria as their prime Arab ally—and for its Mediterranean port. Moscow may be gaming the Presidential transition in the United States, U.S. officials told me. It is trying to insure that Assad regains control over as much Syrian territory as possible before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated—to present the survival of the regime as a fait accompli. Iran and its Hezbollah allies are winners, too, albeit at a cost.

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