World Watches On As Aleppo Burns

The battle between pro-government forces and rebels in the Syrian city of Aleppo has escalated to unprecedented levels of savagery and violence as pro-government forces advance on homes and buildings, indiscriminately killing citizens and reducing the city to rubble via a barrage of air strikes.

The current, ongoing situation in Aleppo has left onlookers mortified and helpless as they witness the brutality taking place. Social media is awash with harrowing images, videos and on the ground testimonies showing first hand the levels of violence and brutality the people of the city are currently facing.

The reports come as government forces continue their advance on the last of the rebel-held neighborhoods in Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial and cultural heart. Government forces on Tuesday were in control of most of eastern Aleppo, as the four-year battle for the city nears a bloody end.

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An official UN report confirmed the killing of 82 civilians on the spot at the hands of pro-Assad government forces on Monday 12th with the violence extending into today (Tuesday 13th) culminating in the forced evacuation of Syrians out of the city and the fate of 100,000+ civilians still uncertain as they retreat further into the city and become trapped in buildings seeking refuge.

The war in Syria has already resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis and mass displacement of people we have seen since the Second World War and the current situation in Aleppo only further reiterates and implicates Assad, Putin and coalition forces for their role in what has happened to the country over the last 5 years.

Those humanitarian volunteers still in Aleppo have issued a desperate plea for help and safe passage for the estimated 100,000 civilians and rebels still trapped in the city’s east, now a wasteland of carnage and rubble. Amid the chaos, the self-styled Syria Civil Defense volunteer rescue group – also known as the White Helmets – was among groups pleading for safe passage out of Aleppo for their volunteers and civilians.

On their Twitter, the group said,  “The regime has been trying to kill us for five years. Please don’t give them this chance.”

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The violence we are seeing in Aleppo is also a damning indictment of the failures of the international community in trying to bring about some peaceful political resolution to the fighting. Whilst there have been attempts to find middle ground, Russia has used its veto power several times to shoot down resolutions in the UN Security Council.

An overall loss in Aleppo will have major ramifications as it will leave rebels without a significant presence in any of Syria’s main cities.

As of now, the world’s focus and commitment must be on rapidly getting aid to those most affected in the besieged city and to work intently on bringing about a cessation of hostilities in order to prevent any further loss of innocent lives.

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