Shinning a Light on Aleppo


The name Aleppo has recently been in news in the form of a picture of a little boy covered in dirt and blood sitting in the back of an ambulance. That boy was lucky. As of Sept. 30, 2016 the Middle East Eye, an online major news source for the western world on the Middle East, reports that there have been more than 300,000 deaths since the Syrian Civil War started in Aleppo alone. Before the civil war, Aleppo was the largest city in the area. It is the most populous governorate, an American equivalent would be a state in Syria. However, once the war began it became the target city for ISIS, the Free Syrian army, and other Jihadist, Kurdish and Rebel coalitions. The city itself has a government-held west and rebel-held east. The once prosperous city is now torn apart by the constant bombings.

Most Americans might not be aware of Aleppo a majority of the time, but it is a major center in the Middle East. It is a unprotected cultural and education center because of its once rich architecture and culture. Before the war reached Aleppo the estimated population was 2.5 million people but as of 2012, the number of  people in Aleppo has been fluctuating, nevertheless the Huffington Post reports that there are still an estimated quarter of a million people living in the city. The east side of city has been under the control of the United States backed coalition, the Free Syrian army, since the beginning of the war in Aleppo and has  slowly created a democratic government, according to the Huffington Post. If the Free Syrian Army loses Aleppo, they will have lost their trade with Turkey and  their strength. This is why the city is important to the United States and why they are sending money and supplies there.

While the United States has not had good relations with Russia since the Cold War, the situation in Syria, and Aleppo especially, has caused discourse between the once allies. The Washington Post reports that on September 10, 2016 the Unites States’ Secretary of State, John Kerry,  announced a ceasefire with Russia in Aleppo to create peace. But a little over a week later it almost collapsed after an airstrike by a US ally attacked Syrian government troops, which are backed by Russia. While the ceasefire has been in contact ever since the city has been destroyed, there are no signs of it or the civil war stopping.


John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the press conference announcing the ceasefire. Source: CNN

Before and After of an Aleppo street. Source: The Guardian

Categories: News

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