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Civil Defense Warns of Massacre if Aleppo Falls as Russian Air Raids Continue

Daily life in Aleppo will descend into hell within a month under air strikes from the regime and its Russian ally, civil defense official warns
Civil Defense Warns of Massacre if Aleppo Falls as Russian Air Raids Continue

Six people were killed and five others were injured on Wednesday in an air strike on a bakery in the city of Aleppo, which is under siege by the regime and its allied militias.

An official in the civil defense, Baybars Meshal, reported that Russian warplanes struck a bakery in the Al-Maadi district, which is under opposition control, while people were gathering to buy bread, killing six people and wounding five others in the preliminary toll.

Meshal said that a civil defense team was still working to remove the rubble and search for survivors in the ruins of the bakery.

Raed al-Salah, a civil defense official in Syrian opposition areas, warned that daily life in Aleppo will turn into hell within a month under air strikes from the regime and its ally Russia, and that residents of the city could be subjected to a massacre if it falls into the hands of regime forces.

Salah told AFP during a visit to New York and Washington to inform the United Nations and the United States about the fate of the volunteers in the Syrian civil defense that, “Civilians will take the first opportunity to flee the city, but without any guarantees that they will receive even the slightest protection or security from any party.” He added that, “We are very worried. It is possible these people will be subjected to killing, kidnapping, or arrest.”

He believed that, “The eastern district of Aleppo, under siege by regime forces and which has been subjected to attacks for days, will not be able to hold out more than a month because of the current destruction of what remained of public services.” He continued, “There will not be water or electricity or fuel, and the hospitals will not be able to continue their work.”

Salah confirmed that, “The civil defense has counted 1,700 air strikes carried out by regime and Russian warplanes, killing and wounding about 1,000 people since Assad’s forces on September 19 announced the end of the truce which had been imposed with difficulty in accordance with the Russian-American deal signed in Geneva.”

Humanitarian Failure

Salah said he no longer expected much help from the United Nations or America, which supports some opposition groups. He said, “I am not relying on them (…) We have seen the American administration pulling back from international crises, not only in Syria.” He added, “The world’s greatest powers are carrying out war crimes and violating human rights, and I do not see any political will to hold them to account.”

He also did not see a need for “more international resolutions” after the clear failure of Resolution 2254, which was voted upon unanimously by the Security Council on December 18, and which provided for a diplomatic road map and the start of a political process between the regime and the opposition in Syria.

The chief of the White Helmets said that, “The failure to end the Syrian tragedy is a failure for the international community and for humanity in general,” which had been unable to end a war which has killed more than 300,000 people over five and a half years and caused the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two.

Western nations this week have strongly condemned the “unprecedented brutality” on Aleppo and have accused Moscow of being “responsible for war crimes.”

The public hospitals in the city of Aleppo are suffering from massive pressure due to the large number of wounded and the shortfall of blood bags, in addition to the fact that intensive care departments have been filled with wounded and that each hospital has carried out 30 surgeries a day since the start of the raids.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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