The fall of Aleppo will have great resonance in Syria’s savage civil war. Apart from its symbolic value, it will mean that the regime now controls what was once the country’s largest city and commercial centre. It will broadcast the potency of Russian military power and the abject failure of Western policy in this crisis. It will mean that Bashar al-Assad has the enemy he has always wanted. But it will not mean that the bloodshed is going to end anytime soon.
As the regime’s forces continued to clear the last corners of what the opposition calls “Free Aleppo” the House of Commons in London held an emergency debate on Tuesday. Amid much hand-wringing George Osborne acknowledged “this tragedy was created by a vacuum of Western leadership, of American leadership, British leadership”.