What exactly is happening in Aleppo?

For more than five years, Syria has been in a Civil War that has forced over 11 million people to flee the country.

This is the largest forced migration since World War 2.

The battle for Aleppo began in 2012 when anti-government rebels gained control of various districts within the city. Since then the city has been divided into government-controlled west and rebel-held east. Beginning in 2013, the Syrian Government began aerial bombing of the east of the country, a tactic that has caused a humanitarian crisis. As if this wasn’t enough, the rebels burnt down buses that were evacuating the sick and elderly out of the city. Journalists were beheaded and hung in market squares.

By the 13th of December, only 5% of Aleppo remains under rebel-control. A ceasefire was announced and bombing was stopped to allow the evacuation of civilians. Buses were prepared for evacuation. But the deal fell apart and bombing was resumed the next day leading to the death of a large number of civilians.

The battle for Aleppo has left an estimated 31,053 people dead. Out of this, 23,604 (76%) of all fatalities were innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the war.

Causes of war were explosions (910 deaths), shelling (6,384 deaths), field execution (1,549 deaths), shooting (9438 deaths), aerial bombing (11,233 deaths), chemical and toxic gas attacks (46 deaths) and others.

As India worries about the ban of some notes, hundreds of people are being killed on the other side. As India sits unknowingly or barely knowing anything, thousands of children are left stranded and then killed. Why are we still in the dark about something that is being known as ‘the mother of all battles’? Why aren’t we Indians doing anything to help? Is ‘me, myself and I’ our motto?

There are ways in which we can help these survivors:

  1. Donate to relief funds

Consider NGOs like International Red Cross, Save the Children and Doctors without Borders.

  1. Volunteer your time

If you have a specific skill set, volunteer to help. Medical professionals all over the world have saved lives by giving advice over the internet and Skype. So if you can, get in touch with US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and help in your own way. If you can speak Arabic and can offer translation services, contact an aid organization.

  1. Join demonstrations

Use the hashtag #StandWithAleppo and join in on demonstrations and protests.

With the near-end of this historic battle, let us join in on helping the survivors. So whether you bow down in prayer five times a day or join your hands in front of a godly statue, spend as little as five seconds to pray for those who aren’t related to you in any way except humanity.

Author: Zainab Haji

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