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A Syrian military academy in the heart of Aleppo made for a bold, even reckless target for opposition forces trying to break a devastating siege, but the rebels gambled on a double advantage: surprise and suicide bombers.
Soon the rebels were sharing pictures of abandoned artillery and a smashed portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Twitter, flaunted as triumphant proof that the army was routed and opposition forces were within a few hundred metres of their besieged comrades.
“The world abandoned Aleppo; the jihadis came to the rescue. Al-Qaida’s rebranding could hardly have asked for more,” analyst Kyle Orton, from the Henry Jackson Society, said on Twitter.
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