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Killing Aleppo — by invitation only

December 7, 2016 at 9:30 am

Smoke rises after the Syrian and Russian army carried out airstrikes over residential areas in Aleppo, Syria on 21 November 2016 [Jawad al Rifai/Anadolu Agency]

The murderous situation in Aleppo has become like a series of grotesque parties, with Russians, the Assad regime, Hezbollah and Iranian forces and militias invited from various parts of the world to participate in the killing of the Syrian people. Not a day passes without dozens of women, children and the elderly being killed or wounded. Killing Aleppo; welcome to the party; by invitation only.

Even though this is nothing new, it is still a relative novelty that the destruction of human beings, plants and animals is happening under international auspices with Washington’s blessing. Aleppo, one of the oldest capitals in the world and the cradle of civilisation, is now being demolished at the hands of barbarians who are the enemies of humanity and brutal, unprecedentedly so. Most of the people of Aleppo — who were very proud of their city, its history and everything in it — are now either dead, wounded, displaced or homeless. The criminals who are committing crimes against Aleppo and its people (and, indeed, the rest of Syria) are not alone in their guilt. They are also criminals who sit silently by and watch as the murder, destruction and displacement takes place.

No city in the world has suffered such systematic and brutal bombing since World War Two. The death and destruction has gone beyond the usual wartime rhetoric, confirming that pure hatred has replaced geopolitical considerations. What is happening in Aleppo today is more than just military protection for the Alawite sectarian Assad regime which hijacked Syria more than 45 years ago with support from the East and West. It is also intended to create a new map of Syria, turning it into a series of sectarian mini-states that will witness endless wars for decades.

The Obama administration may not have participated openly in the crimes, but it has been fully involved, from its demands for the overthrow of Bashar Al-Assad to its support for the same president to be an integral part of any solution. The EU even announced explicitly that it would contribute to supporting Assad in order to find a solution, but I do not know what kind of solution can be reached given the price being paid in blood, body parts and ruins.

The international community, headed by UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, has turned the Syrian cause from a racist, sectarian, genocidal war into a minor crisis represented by the removal from east Aleppo of 300 fighters belonging to the Fatah Al-Sham group. The same envoy made some incomprehensible comments during his visit to Assad in Damascus last week; few people understood them, apart from that he would support the regime; Aleppo will fall inevitably into the hands of the regime; and that it is only a matter of time.

Hence, there is clear international cooperation and involvement in the killing parties against the Syrian people — by invitation only, of course. Russia, Iran, the Alawite regime and the sectarian militias from around the world are doing the killing, while the international community — including the US and Europe — makes its contribution by killing hope and exploiting what is happening in order to prepare for Assad to be part of the solution. I am sorry to say that most of the Arab states are standing by helplessly and idly while waiting for their invitation to join the killing party. It is shameful.

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