"… a city of sharply contrasting halves, and one side clearly appears to have the upper hand.
In a park on the government-held side, families picnic while children line up to buy balloons and popcorn. A few miles away, on a sprawling university campus, thousands of students attend class. Downtown, the city’s cinema plays the latest Hollywood films. In the evenings, the restaurants fill.
War brings death and discomfort, but life continues here with a surprising degree of normality.
It’s a far cry from the images of Aleppo the world has seen during Syria’s war: the rubble-filled streets, the carcasses of buildings, lifeless bodies being dragged out of piles of detritus after airstrikes. But that is the rebel-held side.
There, the mishmash of armed groups in control are almost entirely encircled and were brutally bombarded before a recent cease-fire brought some relief. Sitting right on the battle lines, the old city of Aleppo is in tatters. The 13th-century citadel that rises above its now scorched markets with their famed vaulted ceilings is a Syrian army base." Washpost
The Borgist (foreign policy establishment) media description of the situation and living conditions in Aleppo city has been mendacious (lying). With the exception of Frederick Pleitgen, TV journalists (most especially from CNN) have consistently traveled to Aleppo with Syrian government cooperation and protection, have stayed in hotels in the government held part (most) of the City and then ventured into the rebel held pocket with its small population of Sunni fanatics, jihadi fighters and FSA unicorns for the purpose of misrepresenting the situation as being one in which "hundreds of thousands" of Alleppans (halabiyeen) are living in Leningrad siege conditions under frightful government and Russian bombardment while starving to death in the hope of achieving basic human rights. What a crock! This is the worst kind of memetic manipulation of images. In the latest such effort that has come to my attention the Anglo-American CNN "flavor of the month," Clarissa Ward traveled to Aleppo (once again over the government held road LOC) to "report" from the rebel pocket in Aleppo City. There, dressed like a salafi nun from hell, she went to moan about how tough things are for those who "fight for their religion." I guess that Pleitgen was just too even handed for the powers that be at CNN. He has now been "exiled" to Europe.
In contrast we have this unaccountably wonderful story in today's Washington Post about real life in Aleppo. Read it. Notice the women students wearing the hijab at Aleppo University in government held Aleppo.
It continues to be my opinion that reduction of the rebel Aleppo and Idlib pockets should be a very high priority for the Syrian government. Getting the electricity back on soon in government held Aleppo should be matter of great concern now that the SAA has recaptured the main power plants. That alone should trigger a wave of defections from among "the pure" in the rebel pocket. pl