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Syria siege broken

The Syrian army has broken the siege of the Nubl and al-Zahra towns in Aleppo after four years. As Syrian forces and their allies complete the encirclement of Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, the US government and its regional allies have signalled a sudden increased interest in ground operations in Syria, including US airpower backing Turkish and Saudi ground forces.

A panic-stricken Brookings Institution analyst, Michael O’Hanlon, urges the US government to commit 20,000 combat troops with “the right political model for maintaining occupation”.

By contrast, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon has condemned Obama’s repeated statements that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad must be removed from office and replaced with a leader of whom those foreign leaders approve.

“The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people,” rather than by foreign leaders, he said.