The intense media criticism of Gary Johnson's minor flub concerning Aleppo is "gotcha" journalism misdirected from Donald Trump, who seems to wiggle out of every media attempt to amplify his seemingly daily gaffs. They can't seem to get Trump on major transgressions, such as his regularly shifting policy stances, lying, and saying politically incorrect things, and Hillary, until very recently, has been ignoring them altogether. Thus, Johnson, a candidate readily accessible to the media, thus gets overkill on an unimportant geography question.
Johnson clearly knew about the horrible Syrian humanitarian situation, even if he didn't know the name of Syria's formerly largest city. And for a non-interventionist candidate, one could actually hold Johnson to a lower standard than the two major party candidates. Syria, let alone, Aleppo is not strategic to the United States and thus the main U.S. concern should be humanitarian.
The Syrian regime and its many opposition groups are intrinsically weak, and thus the already long conflict is being fueled by outside powers, including the United States. If the United States wants to help the people of Aleppo and Syria, it should first quit supplying provisions, intelligence, and bombing runs to further stoke the war.
But if the U.S. withdraws from involvement in Syria, won't ISIS growor, alternatively, the dictator Bashar al-Assad get stronger? Either is possible, but ISIS is mainly a regional threat and should be dealt with by regional powers. Assad may be one of those powers. But when your enemies are fighting each other--Assad, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah vs. ISIS, the al Qaeda affiliate, and other radical Islamist groups--why get in their way? The best outcome for the United States would be that they fight each other to exhaustion. And at least the United States would have clean hands in making things worse for the Syrian people, because it doesn't now. The U.S. should withdraw from active participation in the conflict, except in doing what it can to donate relief supplies to suffering innocent civilians.