Syrian War Update: Russia Helps Drive Out Rebel Groups Out Of Aleppo

U.S. President Barrack Obama and Russia's President Putin have for some time now had different views on how to end the war in Syria, which has been going on since 2012 and led to hundreds of thousands of casualties. During their meeting at the United Nations summit last year, the two presidents are said to have discussed, but disagreed, on the way forward.

President Obama is reported to have stressed that it was impossible to have a peaceful resolution in the country, with President Bashar al-Assad still in power. On the other hand, Putin is reported to have highlighted that he is the only person with an army than can maintain peace as well as counter the Islamic State terrorist group. The following is an excerpt of a report on this by Fox News.
"President Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin wrapped up their first face-to-face meeting in nearly a year late Monday at the United Nations summit where they fundamentally disagreed over the chaos in Syria."

"A U.S. official said the pair have agreed to discuss political transition in Syria but were at odds over the role that Syrian President Bahar al-Assad should play in resolving the civil conflict. The official said Obama reiterated to Putin that he does not believe there is a path to stability in Syria with Assad in power. Putin has said the world needs to support Assad because his military has the best chance to defeat Islamic State militants."

The meeting is said to have lasted over 90 minutes. As things stand, the Syrian rebels have been driven out of Aleppo by President Bashar's army with the help of the Russian military. The following is an excerpt of the report by RT detailing this.
"The Syrian President, Bashar Assad, has expressed his gratitude to Vladimir Putin and the Russian people for their help in liberating Aleppo from terrorists as the two leaders talked a day after Damascus assumed full control over the city."

"The two sides discussed during the phone call the next political process in Syria, with President al-Assad thanking President Putin and Russia as a key ally for Syria which contributed along with other allies to liberating Aleppo… President Assad said victories in Aleppo paved the way for political work in Syria, adding that they will push many parties which hindered the political process to join the political track and reconciliations."

On how the withdrawal happened, the following is the statement issued by Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in relation to this.
"The operation was conducted on your instructions in tight cooperation with Turkish and Iranian counterparts. Now the next stage is due to follow. To my mind, we have come close to achieving an agreement on the full ceasefire in Syria,"
In November, President Obama said he was skeptical Syria's opposition would be able to withstand the Russian and Iranian coalition, especially given the military capabilities in the air against them. The following was his exact statement in regard to this according to Al Jazeera.
"I am not optimistic about the short-term prospects in Syria. Once Russia and Iran made a decision to back Assad and a brutal air campaign and essentially a pacification of Aleppo regardless of civilian casualties, children being killed or wounded, schools or hospitals being destroyed, it was very hard to see a way in which even a trained and committed moderate opposition could hold its ground for long periods of time,"
Presently, the Russian army is said to be carrying out a fierce offensive against the Islamic State in the Eastern part of the country. Areas affected include the Thardeh Mountains, Al-Hawiqah districts of Deir Ezzor, Al-Rashidiyah, and Al-Arfa.

[Featured Image by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images]