Syria was pleading. Why did We Ignore Them?


The battle for Aleppo, Syria just seems to be getting worse as many innocent lives are being lost. The city, located in Northwest Syria near the Turkish border, has been going through a war for the last year now. The city is perhaps the most significant battlefield in Syria’s defining conflict, which is the fighting between Bashar al-Assad and various anti-government rebel factions. It all started in 2011, after Syria’s Arab Spring protests descended into a civil war. In September 2015, Assad’s forces began a concerted effort to retake the city. Assad’s forces pushed towards the city, causing citizens to take refugee and fear for their lives. Assad’s forces have been reportedly executing families inside their homes, which has caused women in Aleppo to commit suicide because they would rather die than be raped. Their effort to fight back has been very limited due to small amounts of resources and the constant bombings from Russia, destroying homes, schools, and hospitals.

Aleppo has been given barely any coverage in the news, but journalists and citizens of Aleppo have communicated through Twitter. In December 2016, the news reported that regime forces were closing in and were looking to cause a mass genocide upon the Syrian people. Activists and journalists located in Syria tweeted and sent what they thought would be their last distress messages, pleading for countries to help Aleppo. “This is a call and might be the last call. Save Aleppo people. Save my daughter and other children,” pleaded well-known Syrian activist Alhamdo Fatemah, the mother of 8-year-old Bana Alabed, who also tweeted from their home their final message stating, “Final message – I am very sad no one is helping us in this world, no one is evacuating me & my daughter. Goodbye.”

It seems as if humanity has given up on Aleppo. Countries have been showing their condolences, but aren’t acting on the matter. The terrorist attacks in Paris that killed approximately 130 people got more coverage and a movement, but over 400,000 dead in Syria and no one bats an eye. Russia is constantly bombing Aleppo, claiming that its jets were targeting ISIS militants. But videos from local activists appeared to tell a different story and show that the Russian airstrikes seemed to target areas controlled by more moderate rebel groups fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “To be completely honest, I do think Russia is for President Assad. You don’t just constantly bomb rebel groups fighting for the lives of their families for no reason. It’s very disgusting how they’re covering it up by saying they are targeting ISIS,” said Symone Coats (12th).

As of December 21, hundreds of rebel fighters and civilians, including small children, have evacuated after they surrendered. Buses drove in and out of what is left of the city. After the departures, President Bashar Assad gained full control of the war-torn city, after four years of fighting over Syria’s largest city. According to the United Nations, 28,000 fighters and civilians have been bused out and are now looking for safety in refugee camps that are under terrible conditions. Aleppo has been one of the brutal chapters in Syria’s civil war.

The Red Cross and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights helped as much as they could, but with no more powerful outside help, they failed to help Aleppo. The people of Aleppo pled for their lives, but all people did was listen, no one took action.