Militants admit defeat in Aleppo ‘great loss’
Takfiri militant groups have expressed smoldering resentment over the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian government soldiers and allied fighters, describing the city’s liberation as a “great loss” for foreign-sponsored terrorists fighting to overthrow the Damascus government.
“On the political level, this is a great loss,” Yasser al-Youssef of the Nureddin al-Zenki militant group said, adding that the return of Aleppo to full government control marks “a period of retreat and a difficult turning point” for the foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria.
He added that the support offered by Iranian and Russian military advisors to Syrian army forces in the campaign to retake Aleppo cost Takfiri militants dearly.
Ahmed Qorra Ali, a senior militant with the so-called Ahrar al-Sham Takfiri group, also fumed over the army’s recapture of the northwestern city, making hostile comments against Russia and Iran.
Earlier, the Syrian army said government forces had wrested full control over Aleppo after the last batch of civilians and militants were evacuated from the city, located some 355 kilometers north of the capital Damascus.
“Thanks to the blood of our martyrs and the sacrifices of our valiant armed forces as well as allied forces… the general command of the armed forces announces the return of security to Aleppo after its release from terrorism and terrorists, and the departure of those who stayed there,” the army said in a statement.
The statement further praised the victory in Aleppo as a “strategic transformation” in the nation’s battle against terrorism.
Syrians celebrate Aleppo liberation
Hundreds of pro-government supporters took to the streets of Aleppo late on Thursday to celebrate the complete control of the city by army soldiers.
Cars moved slowly through traffic and drivers honked their car horns as crowds waved national Syrian flags and rejoiced at the victory.
“We dedicate this victory to the Doctor, the esteemed President Bashar al-Assad. We dedicate this victory to the Syrian Arab Army and to all of Syria. God, Syria and Bashar,” an unnamed Syrian man said in Arabic.
President Assad has hailed the battlefield gains as a “basic step on the road to ending terrorism in the whole of Syrian territory and creating the right circumstances for a solution to end the war.”