On Oct. 3 four blasts rocked a government-controlled district in Aleppo, Syria, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 80.
Prof. Joshua Landis, director of the centre of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, provides an insightful commentary for the Reuters video of the aftermath in which he describes the plight of Syria’s two major cities:
“What we’re seeing now is the battle for Damascus and Aleppo. Aleppo is the great northern city of Syria. These two cities have 50 per cent of Syria’s population. They are the two geese that lay the golden eggs of Syria. Whoever owns those two sites own Syria.”
“Blowing up the office buildings around it—and these are state buildings—is taking the fight to the state at the heart of Aleppo. There’s a class element to this that we’re seeing unfold in a city like Aleppo and that’s that the rural, lower classes from the countryside are busting into these cities where all the money is and trying to dislodge these people who are willing to sit under the umbrella of regime security. And if that means burning up the downtown, … taking the fight right to right to the city centre—that’s what they have to do.”
“But the regime also cannot cede these cities to the opposition because … [then] in one piece the opposition will have all the money. [So] the logic, unfortunately, of this battle is that these two cities will be turned into dust. And that’s, I fear, what we’re watching unfold here in the fight for these two great urban centres.”
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