Dénouement: Details on make-up and advances of pro-Assad forces closing in on last insurgents in Aleppo; Russia and China veto Security Council resolution

Extraordinary details regarding the composition of pro-government forces supporting Bashar al-Assad and their advances in Aleppo are contained in the following article published in Le Monde today, December 6, 2016.

The fall of Aleppo is in sight, as Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution on Monday, December 5, which called for a ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian aid.


Louis Imbert, Laure Stephan et Benjamin Barthe (Beyrouth), “A l’assaut d’Alep-Est, une coalition de forces pro-Assad; L’armée, des groupes paramilitaires et des milices chiites étrangères progressent dans les quartiers rebelles,” Le Monde, le 6. Déembre 2016 (à 10h31, Mis à jour à 11h21.

The Security Council resolution, sponsored by Egypt, New Zealand and Spain, received 11 affirmative votes, the negative votes of Russia (veto), China (veto) and Venezuela, and the abstention of Angola.


Press Release, “Security Council Fails to Adopt Draft Resolution to End Attacks on Aleppo as Two Permanent Members Cast Veto,” U.N. Doc. SC/12609, December 5, 2016 (7825TH MEETING (PM).

The press release stated that The draft resolution had been

“a text that would have barred “any and all attacks” in Aleppo, while demanding a cessation of hostilities throughout the country, except where operations were ongoing against groups it deemed terrorists. The Council would have considered further seven-day extensions to the Aleppo ceasefire on a recurring basis.

The Web TV video of the meeting is found here (English), and here (original language).

Finally, a noteworthy op-ed by Peter W. Galbraith appeared today in the New York Times, concluding that the war in Syria is over and that now is the time to stop the fighting.

See Peter W. Galbraith, “How the War Ends in Syria,” New York Times, December 6, 2016.

President Obama’s craven policy of not acting effectively in Syria has hadthe gravest of consequences, with over a half a million dead. His choice was “to work withthe Russians”.

These are the consequences.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.