Syrian military controls 98% of Aleppo (VIDEO)
The Syrian government forces have regained full control over 98% of Aleppo territory, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said.
"The Syrian authorities have regained control of over 98% of the territory of the city of Aleppo. The area controlled by militants in eastern Aleppo does not exceed 3 square kilometers," Sputnik cited the statement as saying.
According to the center, some 110,000 civilians, including 44,00 children have been evacuated since the beginning of the Syrian offensive to liberate the city. More than 7,000 people have returned to their homes.
The deputy director of the Political and Military Analysis Institute, Alexander Khramchikhin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that "the liberation of Aleppo will certainly have a positive impact on the settlement of the Syrian crisis. "At the same time, the war is not over, and there is not enough evidence to suggest that everything is fine," he warned.
"The positive thing is that now a considerable number of government troops could be used in other sectors of the front. While it is difficult to determine what will be the next target of Damascus, as there are many important areas in Syria at the moment," Alexander Khramchikhin suggested.
The expert also expressed his confidence that Aleppo will not repeat the fate of Palmyra, which was seized by militants again recently. "I think it is absolutely impossible, because Syrian troops should simply cease to exist for this purpose. As for Palmyra, it may become the major war zone, although earlier it was not planned," the deputy director of the Political and Military Analysis Institute expects.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, called the liberation of Aleppo a symbolic victory for the Syrian government forces. "This success will inspire those who defend the political system in Syria, give them strength to liberate other cities. But this war is over: it is necessary to return Palmyra and liberate Idlib, as well as many other cities. The most important thing is that a military victory in. Syria can not be: it is necessary to negotiate with the opposition Syrian army is not so large and strong to liberate all the cities," he pointed out.
"They need to create a people's militia in the liberated cities, because, if they go further, it is necessary to leave liberated territories to someone. Therefore, it is necessary to create such structures, which will not allow militants to return, as it happened in Palmyra," Viktor Litovkin added.
"I think that Raqqa and Idlib can become a new direction. Yet at the first stage they must release Palmyra. Palmyra is a symbol of that first success we have achieved in the fight against ISIS," the military observer of the TASS news agency concluded.