Syria's Commercial Seat and Largest City : Doomed
Syria's resilient, crafty president continues to defend his country against the scum that would destroy it. Bashar al-Assad's identification of the Sunni Syrian rebellion against his elevation in status and importance of his own Alawite tribe as terrorists and ferociously destructive Islamists bent on destruction, appears to have been borne out in the appearance of Syria's once most populous city whose commerce spoke to the commercial heartblood of the country.
It is now divided and in ruins. And it appears that the rebels have launched deadly raids against the very portions of that city abandoned by god and his assembled angels to destroy whatever they have left there to shelter themselves and the Sunni majority that they represent. Most have fled in the panic of life-preservation, leaving a mere 250,000 to reel in fear of death. And oh, of course, it is not the rebels bombing themselves, it is the war machinery of the regime turned once again on its traitors.
The ninth day of violent bombardment has come and gone and with it the deaths of hundreds of civilians through the 20 air strikes on Saturday alone. The rebels have not yet flown their warplanes for they have none. To characterize this conflict as uneven is to understate the obvious; it is the Syrian Sunni population's defense militias striving to sustain themselves against the onslaught of Russian and Syrian war jets aiming to extract the maximum possible damage.
The 'insurgents' have, nonetheless, given as good as they've got. While the government side has killed 140 people accounting for 19 children among them, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the rebels in shelling the government-held area since April 22 have killed 96 people in total, 21 of whom were children. The children, needless to say, are the forgotten casualties of an adult conflict based on historical enmities of sectarian and tribal mutual hatred.
The ceasefire that the regime trumpets to self-extol its goodwill, does not extend to Aleppo. Government warplanes and helicopters will continue to strike that misbegotten city of ancient lineage and its unfortunate residents. Hospitals and medical facilities appear to be as much a target as the rebels, for the regime. The Al Marjeh Primary Health Care Centre, supported in millions in medical supplies from Canada, bombed to extinction.
Proudly successful strikes by both Russian and Syrian government aircraft. The facility, opened in 2014 has performed tens of thousands of consultations focusing on women and children, leading the non-profit agency to call upon the international community to protect hospitals and aid workers targeted in the prosecution of the regime's greater interest of preserving Syria. The rationale is a strange one; destroying the entire national infrastructure to preserve the country.
The main Al Quds hospital backed by Medecins sans Frontieres was bombed days earlier with a death toll of over 50, among whom were patients and six staff members. One of them was Aleppo's only remaining pediatrician. One of the few medical centres in the city that offered pediatric and cardiology wards. Now, a single road out of Aleppo represents the sole supply line for the districts controlled by insurgents. The fear is the quarter-million civilians left will be starved out if the regime blocks the road.
"If Aleppo comes under siege, people will starve to death within a month", said Bara'a al-Halaby a rebel activist, viewing older men, women and children attempting to leave the rebel-held area. "People have already starting fleeing the city", he said. Reflecting the reality that this Syrian regime favours blockades that effectively starve out hundreds of thousands of helpless civilians, and leaving them bereft of needed medical supplies; a most barbaric tactic.
"[The latest fighting demonstrated a] monstrous disregard for civilian lives by all parties to the conflict. In short, the violence is soaring back to the levels we saw prior to the cessation of hostilities. There are deeply disturbing reports of military buildups indicating preparations for a lethal escalation."
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN high commissioner for human rights