The Russian military has now formally asked Vladimir Putin for permission to resume bombing in eastern Aleppo.
The reason given is that the Jihadis have launched yet another attempt to try to break the siege of the Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo.
Latest reports do indeed confirm that the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis outside Aleppo have launched their long predicted counter-offensive to break into eastern Aleppo.
There is wide discrepancy about the number of Jihadis involved, with the numbers given varying between 1,200 and 12,000. The Russian military say that the Jihadis are divided into three combat groups and that they are supported by 20 tanks and 15 armoured personnel carriers. Pictures and film released by the Jihadis shows them firing unguided Grad rockets and using 122 mm artillery.
As was the case with the Jihadi counter-offensive launched in August, the leading role in this counter-offensive is being played by Jabhat Al-Nusra, which is Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch.
This is of course the same group which under the terms of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement the US was supposed to bomb together with the Russians, but which in the event the US has never managed – or even tried – to separate from the so-called “moderate rebels” it supports.
What is also certain is that this Jihadi force which is trying to break into eastern Aleppo will soon be relabelled “moderate rebels” by the Western media, who will largely ignore the fact that the leading role played in it is being played by Al-Qaeda.
Already there is confirmation, including from Western sources, that the Jihadis are making extensive use of explosive laden trucks and tanks driven by suicide bombers: their favoured Kamikaze tactic which they have been using throughout the war.
The fighting in Aleppo meanwhile is bringing out the usual double standard of the Western powers in relation to all questions involving the wars in Iraq and Syria.
In Iraq, in the fighting for Mosul, the Western powers and the Western media as well the UN’s humanitarian agencies are condemning ISIS for using suicide bombers, executing civilians, and using civilians as human shields. The US is praised for bombing them.
In Aleppo the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis are also using suicide bombers, are executing civilians, and are using civilians as human shields. The West however calls them “moderate rebels” and is condemning Russia for bombing them.
On the subject of the future prospects of the Jihadi counter-offensive in Aleppo, whilst I expect it to make brief gains like the previous counter-offensive did in August, like that counter-offensive I expect it eventually to fail, especially now that the Russian air force will be unleashed against it.