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In the past eight days alone, over 1,000 people were killed in Aleppo as Russian aircraft bombarded the city.Bashar Assad knows he cannot claim to be Syria's leader without capturing what was the country's most populous city and economic heartland. Russia has backed Assad's ambitions by increasing its sorties over Aleppo.Russia and Assad both know that under Obama's watch they can carry on bombing without risking more than finger-waving from the United States.Obama's Syria policy has not only earned criticism from Bashar Assad. On the domestic front, 51 State Department diplomats recently signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration's policy in Syria, urging the U.S. to carry out military strikes against the government of President Assad to stop its persistent violations of cease-fires. It boasts a large and successful fighting force of about 7,000, something the Syrian opposition cannot afford to let go in the current military context favoring the Assad regime.
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