In Syria, the unfolding battle for the commercial capital – Aleppo – has turned into the focal point of the 16-month long conflict. Government forces are pushing to reclaim the country’s largest city from the rebels – who control nearly half of its neighbourhoods. Three million people live in Aleppo and many are now fleeing, amid international fears of a looming massacre. Russia’s accused foreign powers of fueling the bloodshed, by urging the rebels to fight on against Assad.

The political leaders of the insurgency are calling for intervention, and shipments of heavy weapons from abroad. And revelations in the media this week claim that’s already happening, via a secret base in Turkey. Author and journalist Afshin Rattansi says the flow of weapons into the hands of rebels will have dire consequences.