“Civilians killed on spot as battle for Aleppo nears end” Al Jazeera, 13/12/16

Article Link: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/civilians-killed-spot-battle-aleppo-nears-161213133240891.html

Our Summary: The news article covers the atrocity taking place in Aleppo by Assad’s forces at present. Civilians have been executed “in scores” as the battle for Aleppo nears its end. According to reports Assad’s forces have entered homes and killed those inside. Included in those 82 killed are 13 children and 11 women. Thousands of civilians are still trapped in the former rebel stronghold of eastern Aleppo. Fighting started weeks ago and Assad forces are closing in onto full control of the city.

This will be the biggest setback since the start of the Syrian war 5 years ago. About 80,000 civilians remained trapped in eastern Aleppo. Nearly 100 children have been reportedly trapped in a building under fire, according to an unnamed doctor. The report continues with witness describing the carnage on the streets with dead bodies lying around and nowhere to shelter. The UN special adviser for Syria described the past 24 hours most “horrific” in the battle for Aleppo. Those reporting from within eastern Aleppo describe there are civilians trapped beneath rubble but civilian defence cannot do any thing to help. Some on social media have shown dissent to inaction of the UN and the international community.

The UN Human Rights Chief on Tuesday said “What is happening with Aleppo could repeat itself in Douma, in Raqqa, in Idlib. We cannot let this continue.”. The governments assault has been backed by artillery fire and air strikes, 463 have been killed since Mid-November. Weekend talks between US and Russia to arrange a ceasefire for evacuation of civilians failed. Turkey who also supports opposition forces in Syria said on Tuesday it aims to intensify ceasefire talks with Russia. The UN estimates nearly 400,000 civilians have been killed since the Syrian began in 2011.

Our Verdict: This report highlights the latest atrocity of this 5 year old war. Assad and his forces seem to have been reignited by the fuel provided by Russian backing, killing mercilessly Syrian civilians. The taking back of Aleppo may be a symbolic victory for the Assad regime, however we question the Syrian regimes defiance after 400,000 civilians have been killed and cities have been turned to rubble. What will Assad rule over if he wins this war?  Nations turning to Russia for ceasefire talks show the ever increasing influence of Russia in this conflict and its central role in peace and stability in the region. The breaking down of ceasefire talks between the US and Russia also show the tacit approval  and support Assad has received for this offensive. So is Russia implicit in the killing of Syrian civilians?

Key Word: Atrocity

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