By: Briana McDonald
The subject of much controversy, Aleppo, a city in north Syria, has been under siege for some time now. The Battle of Aleppo, as it has been termed, has been ongoing since 2012. Due to bombing and attacks, the city has been deteriorating, crumbling, and leaving its residents homeless and hopeless, as many countries refuse to take in its refugees. We have turned Aleppo into a debate topic, trivializing it and using the instances of violence as a simple example in foreign affairs arguments. We are forgetting the real reason that we heard about Aleppo in the first place.
As of 2005, Aleppo’s population was over two million people. Currently, it is hard to estimate the number of people that live there because of two reasons: the west side is currently under military control, and the east side, known as the “rebel side,” is not being controlled at all. The rebel side is where a war is taking place; not only are Russian and Syrian warplanes bombing much of the city, but citizens involved in the Syrian Civil War are using homemade weapons to fight. This is resulting in the decimation of a city once beloved as a capital of tourism and industry; Aleppo was Syria’s largest city and had a rich history.
Presently, 250,000 people live in eastern Aleppo. 100,000 of them are children. In the past few days, the last accessible hospital was subject to aerial bombardment and was destroyed. This means that these citizens now have no access to healthcare. Many have said that they are running low or are completely out of food rations. A teacher in Aleppo, Abdulkafi, told BBC “I have had to stop teaching at the university. My wife is sick and my daughter is without milk. But they are alive.” But this is no way to live. Refugees are attempting to flee to South Aleppo and nearby provinces. They beg the United Nations and the rest of the world to stop the air raiding by warring countries that is causing their strife. “The situation now is super bad,” another teacher stated. “It’s a catastrophic situation. Everything is so bad. We are all about to die and, as usual, the world is not caring about our blood.”