US officials: The fall of Aleppo would be a win for Russia and a defeat for the US in the Middle East

U.S.-backed moderate rebels’ loss of the eastern half of Syria’s largest city Aleppo to Russian-backed government forces would be a defeat for President Barack Obama’s efforts to promote democracy and defeat terrorism in the Middle East, U.S. officials conceded on Monday.

Their grim assessment reflected the expectation that the last rebel-held districts of Aleppo, where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped, will soon fall to the Syrian Army supported by Russia, Iran, and Shiite Muslim militias from Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.”The fall of eastern Aleppo will confront the United States with the reality that supporting a moderate opposition with any hope of becoming the future government of Syria is no longer a hope,” said Paul Pillar, a former senior U.S. intelligence analyst.

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