The Larger Battle for Aleppo: The Removal of US Troops From Syria and the Struggle for Provincial Aleppo
Aleppo city has fallen. The Assad Regime has re-imposed its authority over eastern Aleppo.
However, the relevancy of the Aleppo Governorate is no less diminished. As the war enters
its eighth year, the majority of fighting has shifted north where the many actors have gathered
to determine the fate of their claimed territories. Under the control of various militaries,
both foreign and domestic, the nearly six million inhabitants of the region are left with little
control over who governs them and how.
This paper initially served as a response to US President Donald Trump’s announcement
that American troops would be removed from Syria. Since then, it has grown into a larger
project examining the many actors at play in the governorate, their motives and positions,
and the effect US withdrawal will have on the existing balance of power. This paper attempts
to detail the reality on the ground and provide insight into the complex nature of a war with
shifting alliances and foreign proxies that provides little voice for the civilians who suffer
most. Any lasting peace will have to guarantee the free return of all displaced people and
equal political representation of all communities in the Governorate of Aleppo, including
Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen.
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