Syrian troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, are launching a major counter-offensive around what was once the country's largest city of Aleppo to liberate it from diehard terrorist groups after five years of war.
The northern city has been a focal point in the war on Syria since it first began, being located both in close proximity to the Turkish border and also very near to the Latakia-Damascus highway. For the first time since the conflict began, the Syrian Arab Army appears poised to eradicate all of the terrorist groups that have overran the city, pledging that this will happen sooner or later.
If they're successful in this herculean task, then the tide of the war would decisively shift against Syria's external enemies and their on-the-ground patrons, possibly even allowing Damascus to finally reassert its sovereignty over the northern border region and cut off the terrorist flow.
Boris Volkhonsky, Head of the Asian Section at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (studio guest); Ali Rizk, independent Middle East expert (based in Beirut); and Afraa Dagher, Syrian political activist and writer at ActivistPost.com (based in Damascus), joined us to discuss the issue.