Syria: Aleppo has become a ‘new Srebrenica’

Inhabitants right to see indifference to their destruction as a betrayal

By Spielvogel Attribution:English: For a gallery of some more of my uploaded pictures see: here.All images can be used free of charge.Français : Plus de photos gratuites on trouve ici.Deutsch: Eine Auswahl weiterer von mir hochgeladener Fotos findest Du: hier.Alle Bilder können kostenfrei verwendet werden. (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Al-Adiliyah Mosque in Aleppo, Syria, 1996. By Spielvogel via Wikimedia

 By Una Mullally

‘In the 1990s, we said never again,” a UN official recalls. “Aleppo is the new Srebrenica.” After four years of bombardment by government forces, the siege is complete. There is no way out any more nor a way in for food and humanitarian supplies. The final throttling of Syria’s second city by the government of Bashir al Assad, assisted by Russian air power, threatens the lives of an estimated 300,000 desperate inhabitants living in the rubble of the rebel-controlled eastern part of the city. Hunger and indiscriminate bombing are taking a daily toll – the Red Cross describes the situation as “devastating and overwhelming”. To call Aleppo a new Srebrenica is, if anything, an understatement. But such a call to the conscience of the world is right.

Street scene in Aleppo Credit: Voice of America

Street scene in Aleppo, 2012 – Voice of America

Reports in the last two days suggest a desperate offensive by rebel forces to break the siege, but with only limited success in the north and south of the city. Offers by the Russians to facilitate a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to flee and rebel soldiers to surrender ring hollow and have no credibility with humanitarian organisations or the UN. These people have every reason to fear for their lives if they move from the hell of the cellars of Aleppo to government-controlled territory. This government of butchers has form, and only a few dozen families appear to have left the besieged territory.

The fear is that we are approaching an Aleppo endgame, the recapture of a city divided since 2012 which has represented the heart of the opposition to Assad. Its capture would mark not only a potential humanitarian catastrophe and military victory for Assad, but a critical shift in the political balance of forces, cementing his control over the nation’s urban centres. A political shift that will change the dynamic of any potential talks about a post-Assad Syria.

The Irish Times

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Categories: Foreign affairs, Foreign Policy, History, Middle East, Military history, Opinion/Editorial, Political commentary, Politics, Syria, Top stories, World history, World news

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6 replies

  1. Six years of bombardment by government and setting explosions by terrorists would make a new Hiroshema, not Srebrenica.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone who opposes Assad in Syria has been called a “terrorist,” even when the protests were peaceful, before Al Nusra, before the thousands of men, women and children were tortured and murdered and the women raped by Syrian “intelligence services” and Shabiha militias. The Assad regime has killed more Syrian civilians than even ISIS. Who is a terrorist?

      Like

      • The comparison between the two bad parties Assad and terrorists will go nowhere while the people are still suffereng since 2011. Our different thoughts will not change this shameful fact.
        I wish both Assad and terrorists to taste the same suffereing or worse.
        But I will not change my mind that the good ‘armed’ resistance and the bad terrorsts is a silly media cliche. No one country on the Earth would welcome an ‘armed’ resistance just because they rise Democracy slogans,

        Liked by 1 person

        • The idea that there are only two parties to this conflict, both equally bad, is a false dichotomy. The rebels fighting Assad are of many beliefs, both religious and political. There are more than two parties in the conflict in Syria. But one thing that the rebels have in common is that they clearly represent the popular majority of Syria. Assad’s support is among maybe 15% of Syrians, and I am being generous with that number.

          Democracy is not a slogan. It’s the idea that just political power–the right to govern–can only be derived from the consent of the governed. Assad has no such right. He governs through terror alone, and by forming alliances with foreign governments to wage war against his own people.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I know, konigludwig, that your first two lines are absolutely true, but I prefer to simplfy the Syrian conflict in ‘two parties’ State and anti-state not to be bogged in the endless details and phases of this complicated conflict.

    Democracy could be a temporal political slogan, or false excuse when it is seeked on lakes of blood and oil. The same people ‘from all parties’ who are slaughtering and bombing civilians and vandalizing infrastructure are not ready to perceive the core of Democracy, especially those who would cheer “Allah Akbar” for beheading a human being just because he is Shi’ite or Christian or Baha’i

    When any of those people take over at last they will turn against each other or fight the other groups like what happened in Libya. They replaced a one dictator with thousands of brutal ignorant Dictators fighting for oil provinces, most of them are not even Libyan citizens.

    Revolution for Democracy in Libya is a clear example for what chaos and disability incur for countries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot argue with what you say. The prospect of a democratic state emerging from the Syrian civil war is remote. In all honesty, I doubt that democracy is even possible in the Middle East.

      I think that Americans are very naive when it comes to understanding the political limitations of Middle Eastern cultures, and that Americans are too willing to accept nominal democracies as true democracies.

      American progressives continue to insist that–because an election was held–the Morsi government represented a legitimate democratic government. No, it did not. Because democracy requires a respect for the rights of minorities. A government that condones the public gang rapes of its own citizens is not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination.

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