Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Aleppo: What's That All About?

Aleppo is a town in Syria that's been under siege for six solid years. Here is where Syria is-it is in the lower right corner colored green:

Here is a close-up of Syria. It's bordered by Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea

Here are some before and after pictures of the destruction of the city:

Yes, this is the same street before and after relentless bombing.

Fighting for control over Aleppo started in 2011 and continued until (presumably) an agreement was reached in December 2016. The fighting was between:

  • Syrian Opposition
  • the Free Syria Army
  • Sunnis
  • Fighters associated with Al Qaeda, which is responsible for terrorism worldwide

  • The government of Syria
  • including Hezbollah and Shiite militants
  • and Russia
                                           This map from 2015 shows the war month to month in Aleppo.

Aleppo was originally the largest city in Syria, with over 2 million people living there. The city has a history dating back to about 5000 BC. Many of the buildings constructed thousands of years ago,  now lay in rubble due to bombings.

In the fighting, more than 31,000 people have died, including over 5,000 children.

Bombing has targeted schools, hospitals, stores (a marketplace in Syria is called a Souq), and rescue workers.
                                       Imagine your town having bombs raining down on it like this.

The White Helmets are a group of people dedicated to helping save as many lives as possible, at great risk to themselves. https://www.whitehelmets.org/en

What is it like for ordinary people living-or trying to live- in Aleppo now?  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37561618

When you see a news story about the situation in Aleppo, imagine what it would be like if it was your hometown being bombed and attacked relentlessly. Think of losing everything, with little hope of replacing it. Your neighbors are also in the same situation. Your school is gone, the place you or your family worked,  your place of worship, all the shops you usually go to, but most of all your sense of safety, all gone. And to have this continue for years without any hope of it ending.

Why do you think this battle raged for so long? Was it about power, control, authority? Could it happen in your hometown? Why or why not? Do you know anyone who came from a similar situation? Are there any lessons to learn from it? Do you think it will happen again? Why?

Let's open up discussion about these things and remember these are fellow inhabitants of Earth.

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