Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Aleppo: The nightmare continues

Yesterday’s deal to evacuate the remaining civilians trapped in East Aleppo has collapsed.
Civilians stayed up all night awaiting evacuation but buses stood and idle and returned empty on Wednesday morning. Iran-backed militias reportedly prevented civilians and opposition fighters from leaving the besieged city. Shelling and airstrikes by pro-regime militias and Russia have resumed.
Journalists are reporting that cluster bombs and vacuum bombs are targeting civilian homes. Medics that had been preparing for hours to get badly injured patients ready for departure are now trapped under heavy fire and are struggling to deal with new casualties.
Terrified residents who had hoped that their nightmare had come to an end are now desperately seeking shelter amid airstrikes. It is still unclear if residents will be allowed to leave and whether the deal will hold. According to Syrian Journalist Zouhir Al Shimale, regime media is reporting that it will resume its attacks until all of Eastern Aleppo is taken.
Unless there is a safe and secure evacuation out of Aleppo, there is a risk that the remaining trapped civilians will be killed or detained. 
This is an emergency. Please do everything in your power to take action for the safe passage of these civilians. Make a call now and demand life saving action.

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The following is is a message from Raed Saleh, head of the Syria Civil Defense, published in The Guardian today :-

As a White helmet I ask for one thing: safe passage for those trapped in Aleppo. 

The Morning Star newspaper had reported yesterday that acts taking place in Aleppo yesterday as liberation with a headline announcing :- "Final liberation off Aleppo is in sight." These efforts at 'liberation' have now extended to pro-government forces " entering homes in eastern Aleppo and killing those inside, including women and children according to the UN. Its human rights office says it has evidence at least 82 civilians have been shot on the spot, with a spokesman declaring it " a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo." While Assad claims to be liberating Aleppo from terrorists, he is, in fact, slaughtering not only armed rebels fighting government forces, but untold numbers of civilians. This a deeply complicated war and in this particular conflict it is hard to throw ones hat with any of the opposing sides, at the end of the day the guilty can be found on all sides. Our newsfeeds are filled with the most horrific stories of death, torture, rape, annilihation and atrocities, the misery in Syria continues. We have to stand with the people of Syria  against the tyrants ,whether from the East or the West.We must support calls for a ceasefire and an immediate stop to bombing and shelling. We should be attempting at reaching a political solution to ending the war, towards alleviating immediate suffering. Further intervention in this war-torn country will only make things worse. The task ahead sadly is not an easy one.
The following statement has been issued by Geert Cappelaere, Unicef's regional director:

" As violence continues to escalate in Aleppo today, thousands of children are suffering in silence, and coming under brutal attack on our watch.It is time for the world to stand up for the children of Aleppo and bring their living nightmare to an end.
According to alarming reports from a doctor in the city, many children, possibly more than 100, unaccompanied or separated from their families, are trapped in a building, under heavy attack in east Aleppo.
We urge all parties to the conflict to allow the safe and immediate evacuation of all children. Unaccompanied and separated children have the right to be registered by a neutral humanitarian organisation and be reunified with their families  wherever they may be. 
Unicef is deeply concerned by reports of extra judicial killings of civilians including children and reminds all parties of their responsibilities under international law.
Unicef calls on all warring parties to immediately reach a truce in Aleppo and allow humanitarian organisations to deliver urgent assistance to families and children in need wherever they are, and without conditions.
Civilians who wish to leave east Aleppo must be allowed to do so in safety and in dignity.
Unicef's team in Aleppo and stands ready to provide assistance, including facilitating the evacuation of children.
The children of Aleppo are our responsibility and must be helped now. There are no more excuses."

 Britain has failed to stand by a vision of an open, tolerant Syria. But,we can give urgent help to those fleeing Aleppo, and those left behind. We can give sanctuary to more refugees and we can properly invest in reconstruction.It is the least we can do.
Right now, people in East Aleppo are posting their final goodbyes online as government forces gain full control of the city. Instead of being given a safe path out, they face being trapped, tortured or executed. We can at least continue to demand the safe  evacuation of  the people trapped there now and that UN monitors are deployed to monitor evacuations and protect people from harm.To try and provide them with the safety, justice and dignity that some seek to steal from them.
I am currently hearing reports that another ceasefire has been brokered and a second attempt to evacuate civilians could take place in Aleppo.Let's hope that this is not another taunt and that those in the Eastern part of Aleppo will be taken to areas not under siege.

Stare not at the stars, nor at the bright moon, cry our for the children, dying in Aleppo's gloom.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly do not support a western analysis only, I support all critical voices, whether the news comes from stop the war, or amnesty, voices even close to Assad himself. I am sure Assad will reek his revenge, and even voices not from the west recognise him as a secularish leader who was actually elected as opposed to the al-Quaida types, who some see as having a complete disregard for his own peoples lives.who has spent the last few years willfully destroying a beautiful city and its people.I dot support any form of western intervention other than to deliver assistance and relief to all effected. I will not side with either particular side, will hold my own counsel, and hope the people of the middle east will be able to come up with own solutions to this unfolding tragedy of our times.