With the regime afraid to send in ground troops – allegedly because they fear they might defect – the assault is led from the skies. All week, the MiG and trainer jets circled the city in pairs, occasionally swooping to rake rebel positions with gunfire and missiles.
The MiGs, it is clear, do not have the technology that made the Nato attacks on Libya so devastatingly effective last year – an air campaign in which The Sunday Telegraph saw a government office block used for intelligence gathering levelled and the shop attached to it still open for business the next day.
On Monday, missiles aimed at the FSA headquarters in Aleppo missed by 20 yards and hit a house behind, killing nine men, women and children. The pattern was repeated all week, ending in the bombing of a bakery with the loss of 12 lives on Thursday – just because, it seems, it was close to an apartment building used as a rebel media centre.