Latest reports from Aleppo appear to contradict a claim by Al-Masdar of an agreement between the Syrian authorities and the remaining Jihadi fighters in Aleppo who are still offering resistance.
According to this report the Syrian authorities had supposedly agreed to allow the Jihadi fighters to leave Aleppo for the Anadan plains near Mount Simeon.
However reports suggest that if the Syrian authorities ever made such an offer, then it was soon after withdrawn.
Reports from the Jihadis themselves say that they are now confined to an area less than a mile wide between the River Aleppo and the Salaheddin district near the main sports stadium. Even they now admit that their resistance is almost entirely at an end. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a monitoring group that has consistently sided with the Jihadis throughout the Syrian conflict, is reporting it in this way
“The battle of Aleppo has reached its end. It is just a matter of a small period of time . . . it’s a total collapse.”
If the Syrian authorities have indeed at this eleventh hour refused to let the Jihadis leave Aleppo, then this is a reflection of the bankruptcy of US diplomacy. Earlier in the day Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov made the following withering statement about US diplomatic actions
“The problem is very simple. We say – let us first of all agree on what corridors will be provided to militants, given the previous experience when gunmen used any pause for regrouping, receiving replenishment from abroad and terrorising the civilian population even more furiously.
We can coordinate this with Americans very quickly. We undertake commitments to guarantee that these corridors won’t be attacked by Syrian armed forces, while Americans undertake commitments together with their regional allies to get militants’ consent to leave eastern Aleppo via these safe corridors.
[US colleagues first supported that concept and even committed their considerations to paper at a meeting in Rome on December 2]. But four days later they recalled these considerations and returned to their old and dead-end position, which is that before coordinating the corridors (for the withdrawal of refugees and gunmen) a pause of three, four and seven days must be declared.
We have already gone through this. This will mean that militants will once again get a respite. I hope they will stop sparing gunmen, that the United States as a serious power will use its influence on militants and on those who control gunmen apart from Washington, and that we will finally be able to solve this problem, honestly and caring first of all for the civilian population.“
It seems that time has now run out. With even the Jihadi fighters themselves admitting that resistance is collapsing, the Syrian authorities and the Russians seem no longer in any mood to agree their withdrawal.