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The United Nations is warning that the Syrian government assault on Aleppo could cut off food and water supplies to hundreds of thousands of people still living there. Syrian state forces, backed by Russian air strikes, have launched a major offensive around Aleppo, which has been divided between government and rebel control for years.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 500 people—including 89 civilians—have been killed since the Russian-backed offensive on Aleppo province began earlier this month. Tens of thousands of people have left the area and have headed to the Turkish border, which has been sealed shut.
Is the U.S. letting Russia take the lead on Syria? And what does this mean for the Syrian rebels? For answers, we turn to Joshua Landis, director for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.