Aleppo Gain No Victory for Assad, Putin, Says British FM
The Syrian regime's advances in war-torn east Aleppo do not represent a "victory for Assad" or his Russian ally Vladimir Putin, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said Sunday.
"I really think that it's a mistake to think whatever happens in Aleppo and other areas of rebel-held Syria could amount to a victory for Assad or for Putin," Johnson told the BBC.
The advance of President Bashar Assad's forces in the key Syrian city has sparked international outrage, with hundreds of civilians killed and tens of thousands fleeing since the latest offensive began in mid-November.
Syria's army pushed further into eastern Aleppo Saturday in a devastating assault that has placed it in control of more than half the former rebel stronghold.
Asked if the gains could represent a win for Assad, Johnson replied: "Winning, what is he going to win?"
"It's impossible to imagine that the people of Syria, millions of them, are going to be reconciled to an Assad-led regime.
"There are millions of Syrians who won't accept that outcome, who will continue to fight, so the best outcome is for President (Vladimir) Putin and the puppets that he supports to get to the negotiating table and do a deal that moves Syria away from the Assad regime."
The government has recaptured around 60 percent of eastern parts of Aleppo that rebel forces seized in mid-2012, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Moscow, a key Syria ally, has proposed setting up four humanitarian corridors into the city's east but said regime approval remained essential.