Russia Today has an interview with Bashar Assad. He doesn't relate the pattern of surround-and-annihilate, but it's clear he knows that killing the foreign mercs is what's happening at Aleppo.
RT: Palmyra is another troubled region now, and it’s now [being] taken by ISIS, but we don’t hear a lot of condemnation about it.
President Assad: Exactly, because if it was captured by the government they would be worrying about the heritage. If we liberate Aleppo from the terrorists, the western officials and the mainstream media, they are going to be worrying about the civilians. They do not worry when the opposite happens, when the terrorists are killing those civilians or attacking Palmyra and destroying the human heritage, not only the Syrian heritage.
[The Palmyra offensive of] ISIS, if you look at the timing of their attack is related to what is happening in Aleppo. This is the response to what is happening in Aleppo – the advancement of the Syrian Arab Army – and they wanted to undermine the victory in Aleppo and at the same time to distract the Syrian Army from Aleppo to make it more toward Palmyra and stop the advancement. But, of course, it did not work.
RT: Western countries have been repeatedly asking Russia and Iran to put pressure on you to, as they put it, stop the violence. Just recently, six western nations asked Russia and Iran again to put pressure on you, asking for a ceasefire in Aleppo. At the time when your army was progressing, they were asking for a ceasefire.
Assad: It’s always important in politics to read between the lines, not to be literal. It doesn’t matter what they ask. The translation of their statement is for Russia [to] “please, stop the advancement of the Syrian Army against the terrorists.” That is the meaning of their statement, forget about the rest: “You went too far in defeating the terrorists, that shouldn’t happen. You should tell the Syrians to stop this. We have to keep the terrorists and to save them.”
Americans have advised Iraq to push the Jihadis / terrorists here and there since at least 2007. "Push them out" gets repeated over and over.
Qassem Suleimani has never said anything like that. Pushing terrorists around accomplishes nothing and he is nobody's fool. If anything seeing survivors from earlier battles make the other terrorists in a group bolder.
One obvious fact, here, is that the Syrians in Aleppo gave the Jihadis no support. The Jihadis reacted badly, executing civilians by the score. People who ran were gunned down by the crowd in several places. (Blame that on Assad? Well of course.)
They're psychopaths. That's what they do. So now it is time the Jihadis die.
Expect no prisoners. Same as for the Jihadis, this is the end for their Saudi preachers. The siege force can do what they want. The imagery from drones make the fight a walk over. Old City is a safe area today and that normality will go to the whole of eastern Aleppo in a couple weeks. A normal smell, maybe not. Bodies are going to rot for at least a year, maybe two or three.
Rebuilding ??? The government needs rock crushing facilities to process rubble, sources for shiploads of rebar, and heavy equipment. Hopefully new construction will be designed to take earthquake, not go cheap like Haiti. That would be a mistake. When Syria does get hit with earthquake, it can be powerful. As of today 3/4 of Aleppo is in good shape. They can build out from there.
Palmyra had been left undefended so DAESH took advantage and moved in. What this accomplishes is unclear. These DAESH fighters cannot be resupplied. They are hundreds of miles from the closest front line in the war. As a guess they will be surrounded, then annihilated. That's the formula for taking out Jihadi terrorists.