The five-year Syrian civil war, faces its most critical moment. Saturday, Feb. 6, a combined force of Syrian army and Hizballah troops and an Iraqi Shiite militia under Iranian officers, were led by Russian air and Spetsnaz (special forces) officers into pressing forward to encircle 35,000 rebels trapped in Aleppo, the country’s largest city. As they tightened the siege, 400,000 Syrian civilians were also trapped and forced to bear heavy Russian air bombardment and savage artillery fire from the ground forces closing in on the city.
Rebel supply routes were cut off Thursday and Friday when Syrian and Hizballah forces captured the Azaz Corridor connecting Aleppo and all of the northern province of Idlib to the Turkish border. Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing from the beleaguered town are massing at Bab al-Salama, the last Turkish border crossing to be closed against them. This is the largest Syrian refugee exodus since the start of the civil war. FULL REPORT