Aleppo in Crisis

The world looks on in dismay

Photo courtesy of NBC News

Aleppo is the largest city in Syria, and since 2012 it has been a warzone. The battle of Aleppo began on July 19th, 2012. Ever since, the city has never been the same. The city is split between the government and the rebels. This devastated city is a byproduct of the Syria’s horrific civil war.

Currently, the city is in shambles. The death toll keeps rising as the cease fire that was in effect ended in late September. This war has also started to cause tensions to rise between other countries as well. “Trust between the U.S. and Russia has hit an all time low” according to CNBC. Things have seemed to die down for a bit in September, but now everything is roaring back, making it hard to foresee a future for Aleppo.

The rebels are in the east side of the city and the government is the west. The Syrian government, along with Russia have been bombing the east relentlessly for months. The government has also imposed a blockade on the east which has choked off food, fuel and necessary supplies. The eastern half of Aleppo has been bombed so extensively that it is no longer recognizable. People live in basements of blown up buildings and try to escape the bombs by going into bunkers. Recently, Russia has started using “bunker buster” bombs which are more destructive and make bunkers much less resistant. In actions like this, the Syrian people are unable to distinguish between rebels and civilians. This causes them to blow up bunkers with civilians in them because they think that they are rebels. The U.N. is saying that this may cause Russia and the Syrian Government to be charged with allegations of war crimes.

As Raja Abdulrahim in the Wall Street Journal wrote in late October, “there are no panes of glass left in Aleppo.” People got tired of fixing their windows after each bomb struck and eventually they just stopped trying. Supplies are so scarce that people have cut down almost all the trees throughout the city and are using them for firewood. The death toll is so high that there are no more graves available for the dead in the cemeteries. Gravediggers have resorted to putting new bodies in old graves and burying people in parks.

The extreme brutuality of the crisis has captured the world’s attention. After a picture of a five year old syrian boy went viral, calls for action and fundraising efforts have spread throughout the world to provide relief for the Syrian people.

By Charlie Doern

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