Rebel commander reveals reasons for the fall of Aleppo

Rebel commander reveals reasons for the fall of Aleppo

Aleppo's former rebel commander has explained that poor cooperation between factions and low morale were the main causes of the fall of the city to the Syrian regime.
2 min read
13 January, 2017
The rebel commander blamed a "neighbouring country" for not intervening to aid the rebels [OGN]
A Syrian rebel commander has revealed the reasons behind last month's major defeat in the city of Aleppo.

Former Emir of Aleppo, Abu al-Abd, explained the causes of the defeat in an interview published on Tuesday with American pro-rebel activist Bilal Abdul Kareem.

"In summary [the rebels] did not want a real unity, in which there was one leader with power and an ability to make real decisions," Abu al-Abd said from Idlib, where many rebels were evacuated after the defeat.

"Every group wanted to maintain its authority and wanted to have men to command. If there was one leader, they would have no longer had their imaginary positions."

The rebel commander explained that morale had collapsed among his troops in the final days of the battle and that many of them were waiting to be evacuated.

"People's morale was down, collaboration was bad… we were in a state of loss and confusion," said the commander.

He said that opposition groups had stockpiles of food to last six months but that food prices had skyrocketed and a single egg was being sold for $4.5.

The rebel commander also blamed a "neighbouring country" for not intervening to aid the rebels, a likely reference to Turkey, which has been fighting the Islamic State group just north of Aleppo.

Speaking about the humanitarian situation in the city, Abu al-Abd said: "The state of civilians was an absolute tragedy… the regime's offensive was fierce. It was a Mongol-like offensive."

On December 22, rebels in Aleppo suffered their most devastating defeat since the start of the civil war as a major Russian-backed offensive saw the regime recapture the east of the city.

The loss was the biggest blow to Syria's rebel factions in the nearly six-year conflict, which has killed more than 310,000 people.

The violence has displaced more than half the country's population and caused massive destruction.