The truce was also designed to let rebels leave the city for the Idlib Province in the northwest of the country, an area they currently occupy. But opposition forces, headed by al-Nusra Front, have been preventing civilians from leaving the city over the weekend, the journalist noted.
“They [al-Nusra fighters] need larger numbers [of people] to justify why they need more aid [from the Western allies] and the [Syrian] government to stop attacking them,” Ebrahim told Sputnik’s Loud & Clear host Brian Becker.
The UN and opposition forces estimate that some 250,000 civilians are now in the eastern part of Aleppo. Ebrahim detailed that the number of civilians is exaggerated for political reasons, and put the actual number at about 100,000 people.
Residents have been living under extremist control for four years, and it is suggested that they have been brainwashed by intensive propaganda and violence, and are afraid to side with the government for fear of persecution, he added.
“The majority of residents of Eastern Aleppo want the rebels to leave that part of the city,” he said, noting that, “They also understand that fighters cannot relinquish easily through eastern Aleppo. Once Aleppo is lost for rebels, this could be a turning point for the war.”
Speaking about rebel manpower in Aleppo, Ebrahim suggested that 8,000 to 10,000 fighters control the eastern part of the city, and that it is not known whether they enjoy any civilian support.
The opposition’s only hope now, the reporter suggested, is an American intervention on their behalf.
“Many opposition sources have told me that they’re rooting for Hillary Clinton [in the presidential race] because they feel if she was in the Oval Office, she would have provided necessary assistance – boots on the ground.”
The Syrian government, backed by the Russian Air Force, has an advantage in the situation and could liberate Aleppo in the coming months, however.
“There’s a high possibility that the city could be retaken completely from the hands of rebel fighters in early 2017. The government controls 75 per cent of the city and over half of Aleppo province,” Ebrahim stated.