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Rebels say Aleppo loss not end of civil war

Reporter: Michal Bardavid 丨 CCTV.com

12-19-2016 17:23 BJT

The Syrian government has gained a major strategic area with the recovery of Aleppo. But will its success there prove a fatal blow to the Islamist insurgency that has torn the country apart for nearly six years? CCTV's reporter sat down with a spokesman for al-Shamiya Front – a collection of armed groups that controlled part of Aleppo.

With Aleppo falling to the government forces of Bashar al-Assad, Syria's opposition is in a weakened state – no longer holding control of any major urban area in the country.

"What is happening in Aleppo will have an effect regarding their morale and in other ways. However, in the end – the rebel forces don't care if they lose a city or if they gain a city, the most important thing for them is that the revolution will continue," said Muhammad Al Ahmad, spokesman of Al-Shamiya front.

The military spokesman of the al-Shamiya Front says rebel forces intend to analyze what went wrong in Aleppo, and what their mistakes were with this knowledge they plan to create a new strategy.

"The first mistake is that there isn't a united leadership for the rebel forces in Aleppo, especially during the siege. There was terrible coordination among units. Also a big percentage of rebels are not from the military, and they don't have military training, they don't have the skills to use weapons," said Muhammad Al Ahmad.

Many rebels fleeing Aleppo have headed to Idlib province -- one of their last strongholds. They believe the result will be different here.

"In Aleppo city the Syrian government had control over parts of it to begin with, but Idlib is already almost completely liberated, both as a city and as a province," Muhammad Al Ahmad.

The images out of Aleppo show the government win there has come at a high cost – and left little but misery for those who managed to survive years of war. With the opposition vowing to fight on, the question now is will these scenes be repeated – in the next likely battleground – Idlib.

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