Recently the number of Syrian refugees has surpassed 4 million and while the world collectively weeps for those suffering outside the country, those inside are met with silence and the prevalent sounds of gunfire, artillery shells, and bombs.

To add insult to injury, those suffering inside the ancient city of Aleppo have been forced to undergo this inhuman ordeal without water for seventeen days and yet, the fighting continues without any signs of peace in the imminent future.

Unlike in Idlib, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) have held strong, as they have been unwilling to let go of the city that has been partially recovered since the war reached deep into the heart of Aleppo in during the rebel offensive in 2012.

An issue plaguing the Islamist militants is the immediate lack of unity between the two rival factions in the area, as they are divided into two camps: the more-moderate “Fatah Halab” and the extremist coalition “Ansar Al-Shari’ah” {which includes the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”} which has led to disagreements and even lack of will to assist one another in combat.

The main issue driving these disputes is in the implementation of Shari’ah Law and who holds claim to the governance of Aleppo, forgetting that capturing the objective is still more important than deciding what to do after.

The most intense clashes are happening at the Scientific Research Center, directly outside of the New Aleppo Quarter.

Ansar Al-Shari’ah militants managed to break into and capture the majority of the area over the last few days, but a recent counter-offensive from the Syrian Armed Forces has allowed them to recapture the western sector around the periphery.

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Numerous other attacks by the Islamist militants, usually spearheaded by Nusra’s prevalent VBIEDs (vehicle borne improvised explosive devices) have taken place in the Al-Zahraa Association, Al-Rashideen, and Al-Khalidiyah Quarters.

Many of these assaults have been repelled not only by SAA/NDF forces, but also the predominately Palestinian “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigades) fighters that are loyal to the Syrian Arab Army – they repelled an assault on the Al-Aqra checkpoint and village yesterday.

With the assault not resulting in the immediate victories as hoped, the Islamist forces have decided to attack the government held supply lines in southern Aleppo, hoping to capture the imperative Khanasir Highway; which is the main supply route from the Hama Governorate.

And while this battle rages, it happens under the watchful eye of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), who is embedded in the northern plains of Aleppo in order to pounce on any perceived weakness.

Yet another eye watches carefully; that of Turkey.

Recently, the Islamist forces in Aleppo announced they’ll begin using the Turkish Lira as their main currency starting August 1st and this comes at the same time of pressing rumors of Turkish intervention into Aleppo.

While it’s something to consider, the prospect of Turkish intervention in the city is highly unlikely.

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