By Dr Jan Best de Vries:
If the present-day province of Aleppo would have covered the same large area as that of the ancient realm of Yamkhad with its capital Aleppo, Yamkhad might have become again the future name of Syria after the deconstruction of this former, rather haphazard, mandate handed over to the French in 1919. In any case, since Aleppo – until October 2011 a culturally and economically flourishing town with an international atmosphere – has been systematically destroyed by the jets of the Arab Syrian Air Force, it should not be returned to (or restored under) any Arab regime in Damascus: to rebuild Aleppo is, for both old and new times’ sake, the responsibility of the civilized, international community. After giving up Kobane in advance, caring about Aleppo is the latest whim of Mr. Erdogan, who has justifiably been accused by Mr. Assad of helping IS, but unjustifiably of starting his own civil war in Syria. An Aleppo under Turkish instead of Arab supervision is not what the desperate inhabitants and the rest of the world are waiting for. As a free state, Aleppo would in the North be protected by the three democratic cantons of Rojava, inhabited by a Kurdish majority, but also by the members of many ethnic minorities who likewise in the people’s army of the YPG and YPJ and together with the Free Syrian Army have so courageously defended Kobane against IS.