Russian army concentrates forces near Aleppo ahead of all-out assault
Russia has continued to build up forces north of the city of Aleppo over the past few days. Western and Middle Eastern sources monitoring the war in Syria estimate that this step is in preparation for an all-out assault by Russian, Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah forces on rebels in the northwestern city. The Russian command in Syria is said to be determined to capture Aleppo, purge the city of rebels and restore control by Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Russian forces gathering near Aleppo include heavy artillery units with various types of MLRS rocket launchers and special forces troops to protect the artillery from rebel attack.
On the rebel side, as DEBKAfile reported on Saturday, Turkey and Saudi Arabia sent a force of 3,500 rebels to Aleppo last week to help the rebel forces repel the upcoming attack.