Syria's Aleppo key to a regime victory

A damaged mosque stands in the Masaken Hanano district in eastern Aleppo, a day after Syrian pro-government forces seized it from rebel fightersPresident Bashar al-Assad is determined to retake Syria’s second city Aleppo to deal a decisive blow to the rebels ahead of a possible change in US foreign policy, analysts say. Assad’s regime has in recent months been pressing a series of offensives to seize control of the devastated city’s east, which has been in rebel hands since 2012. For Assad’s regime, taking Aleppo would be “one of its greatest victories”, Middle East expert Mathieu Guidere says, stressing the city’s “extraordinary historical, political and geopolitical prestige”.

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