Residents and a group of activists including doctors and civil servants from Aleppo’s rebel-held areas urged the international community to make airdrops of humanitarian aid to put an end to the siege the Assad regime and its allies have imposed on the city for nearly three months.
In a rare video message in English, the activists and doctors, holding the revolution flag, issued a desperate plea to the world for help, stressing that there is still time for action to save the lives of nearly 275,000 civilians trapped inside the city. They noted that they “do not have a problem with relief airdrops” by the US-led coalition’s aircrafts which are not far from the city of Aleppo.
An English-speaking Syrian doctor known as Dr. Hamza Khatib appeared standing in the middle of the group. Khatib ran through a grim accounting of Aleppo’s misery, based on numbers from this coalition of activists.
At least 2,300 documented strikes have hit eastern Aleppo in the last 23 days, the message said, adding that these included airstrikes, explosive barrels, artillery, cluster bombs, bunker-busters, bombs loaded with chlorine gas.
The activists went on to say that 4 hospitals were struck in the last week, along with 6 schools, the civil defense headquarters and 2 bakeries.
Khatib said that the Russian and Assad regime air forces are intentionally targeting civilian infrastructure to “break people’s will.” Starving, dying people with little to no access to medical care are afraid to go to hospitals, he added, as they fear becoming the victims of the latest bombings.
Khatib called upon the international community to open a demilitarized humanitarian corridor under the United Nations’ control for food, fuel, medicine and infrastructure supplies for water stations, electricity, hospitals, schools and civil defense. He also called for grounding Bashar al-Assad’s air force or using diplomatic leverage to end Russian and Assad bombardment of the city.
“How many hospitals or schools does it take to see real actions against war crimes in Syria? It can’t get more gruesome than this,” Khatib said. “Don’t look back years from now and wish that you can do something; you can still.”
The past six years have been a “slow-motion train wreck,” leaving him and his colleagues wondering what good is the United Nations, he said. The international community holds Aleppo’s fate in its hands, Khatib added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)