EXCLUSIVE: Assad siege of Aleppo could be ‘imminent,’ experts warn

A government encirclement of the Syrian rebel stronghold of Aleppo could be “imminent,” according to military and humanitarian observers, some of whom point to United Nations-sponsored peace talks as having given the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad maneuvering room.

If Syria’s largest city is surrounded by government troops, the strategic situation in Syria could change very rapidly for the worse, not only for Syrians, but also for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—and for the Obama Administration, which has banked heavily on the crumbling peace talks to end five years of civil war and an expanding presence for ISIS amid the chaos.

The encirclement would also be a major strategic advance for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has drawn his forces in Syria, but has also been helping the Assad regime conduct more focused military operations under a two-month “cessation of hostilities.”.

“A number of signs, including a higher concentration of air strikes, the movement of Russian artillery support for regime forces, and a variety of skirmishes near a 3-to-4 kilometer gap that still keeps Aleppo from being besieged, all show that they are getting ready to move,” says Chris Kozak, a Syria analyst with the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.

Recent air attacks on civilian institutions in Aleppo, including the Wednesday bombing of an underground hospital, and attacks on civilians  in other centers are also symptoms

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/29/exclusive-assad-siege-aleppo-could-be-imminent-experts-warn.html

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