A child standing in front of his ground-flattened school after a bombardment in Ainjara village in rural Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Khalil Alshawi

Here’s the strategic logic that explains why fighters are inflicting such misery on the people of Aleppo

There is a catastrophe underway in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The city has been at the center of fighting since the civil war broke out in 2011, but in recent weeks the battle for Aleppo has become much more intense.

Caught in the middle are 2 million people. Food is scarce. Hospitals have been bombed. Humanitarian aid has not been able to reach the city. And earlier this week, the UN warned that water supply has been cut off for about a week.

On the line to discuss the situation in Aleppo is Dave DesRoches, a professor at National Defense University. We discuss the strategic significance of Aleppo in the context of the civil war; that is, why fighting for control of the city of Aleppo is so consequential to the trajectory of the entire conflict; he describes the various fighting forces that are converging on Aleppo to participate in this fight, their disparate motives;  the role of the United States and Russia, and of course the dire humanitarian consequences of this particularly brutal fight.

If you have 20 minutes and want a deeper understanding of why belligerents are inflicting such intense suffering on civilians trapped in this city, have a listen.


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