Aleppo must be ‘cleaned,’ declares Assad, amid outcry over bloody siege

The Guardian reports: Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has spoken of “cleaning” the besieged city of Aleppo, where a quarter of a million people are caught under heavy bombardment by his government’s forces, and using it as a “springboard” for winning the country’s war.

With Britain leading international outcry over the regime’s campaign against rebels in Aleppo and Russia’s backing for it, Assad declared that victory in the strategic city would allow the Syrian army to liberate other areas of the country from “terrorists”.

Speaking to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda, Assad said Aleppo was effectively no longer Syria’s industrial capital but taking back the city would provide important political and strategic gains for his regime.

“It’s going to be the springboard, as a big city, to move to other areas, to liberate other areas from the terrorists. This is the importance of Aleppo now,” Assad said.

“You have to keep cleaning this area and to push the terrorists to Turkey to go back to where they come from, or to kill them. There’s no other option. But Aleppo is going to be a very important springboard to do this move.” [Continue reading…]

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