By Reuter’s Erika Solomon - who’s been covering Syria - solid focus on Rebel’s thinking about this Aleppo operation.
One logic here is country side attempting to drag in an historic urban city into a revolution or war. The way it’s done - and how it’s going to end. (Of course - there might be other real ‘strategic’ thinking behind this Aleppo operation.)
How Aleppo’s local population’d come to see this event - could come to affect Syria’s course for a long time.
“We liberated the rural parts of this province. We waited and waited for Aleppo to rise, and it didn’t. We couldn’t rely on them to do it for themselves so we had to bring the revolution to them,” said a rebel commander in a nearby village, who calls himself Abu Hashish.
“About 80 percent of the fighters in this city come from the countryside. Aleppo is a business town, people said they wanted to stay neutral. But now that we have come, they seem to be accepting us,” he said. […]
Aleppo is the economic center, the true source of regime power. If we can strike it hard, and hold on, we can bring Bashar down,” said one rebel fighter joining the convoy who called himself Abu Bakr. […]
“We had to start the battle to encourage Aleppo and get the residents accustomed to being part of the uprising. A lot of families have given the fighters money secretly, but they didn’t want to do more. And there are even people unfortunately who still support the regime,” said a fighter named Jumaa.
“I think for Aleppo the memories of the 1980s are still very deep,” Jumaa said, referring to an Islamist uprising which was crushed by Assad’s late father, whose forces killed at least 10,000 people in the central city of Hama. […]
Outside the city, rebel commander Abu Hashish says more sacrifices are necessary, and that the time has come for his urban brothers to share the burden.
“In Aleppo they only think about trade, about money. They think about their own life, they think about their children’s future. They don’t fight the regime because they care about the here and now,” he said.
“In the countryside we know we must give up on the present. I will sacrifice my life and my children’s lives. Let them destroy our homes. This fight is for a new generation coming that will have a chance to have a life of dignity. And for me, that is worth sacrificing everything.”