„President Putin will launch a full-scale military assault on the Syrian city of Aleppo as early as this week, according to western intelligence. The Russian leader plans to exploit a political hiatus in Washington during the presidential election and its aftermath to secure a decisive victory in the rebel-held east of the city by the middle of January for his ally, President Assad.
Moscow’s only aircraft carrier, which is travelling to a strike position in the eastern Mediterranean, will be used to enhance Russian firepower over Aleppo in support of the Syrian regime, according to the intelligence analysis, which has been shared with The Times. The anticipated onslaught could be devastating for up to 275,000 men, women and children who are still living in the rebel enclave in Syria’s biggest city. ‚We think that the Russians are on the brink of a major military assault on Aleppo,‘ a western intelligence source said. ‚There could be significant humanitarian consequences.‘ (…) ‚They have a comprehensive array of advanced military equipment, which is not configured as a CT [counter- terrorism] operation,‘ the intelligence source said. ‚This is configured as a full- scale military operation.‘“ (Deborah Haynes: „Putin set to launch huge attack on Aleppo“)