The city of Aleppo has been under fierce bombings and attack led by the Assad regime for the purpose of clearing out the rebel-held area of fighters and opposition groups. Syrians remain trapped in the war-torn nation and now are awaiting evacuation after an agreement had apparently been reached that would involve more people being allowed to leave Aleppo.
While a reported 310,000 people- including women and children- have died during these most recent violent attacks, no word has come as to when the violence will end and when the civilians that have been trapped in this living hell will be able to leave. President Bashar al-Assad has yet to confirm that this agreement has been reached, nor has his allies, mainly Russia and Iran.
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While trucks loaded with supplies and food for the suffering population made their way to a safe zone, it has been a nightmarish wait for women, children and ill civilians who waited throughout the night inside the city in the freezing temperatures for the chance to break free from the horrible conditions and reach this safe zone and waiting humanitarian aid.
The AFP recalls accounts of civilians who waited in the cold over night for help.
“Abu Omar said that after waiting outside in the cold for nine hours the previous day, he had returned on Saturday only to be told the buses were not coming. ‘There’s no more food or drinking water, and the situation is getting worse by the day,’ he said, adding that his four children were sick because of the cold.”
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“People have suffered a lot. Please come to an agreement and help save thousands of lives,” said ICRC Syria delegation head Marianne Gasser. “We cannot abandon these people.”
It has been difficult to truly determine what the reason is that the evacuation of civilians was halted. Syrian government officials are placing blame on rebels because they had reportedly attempted to “smuggle out heavy weapons and hostages.”
The government stated that the evacuation was held up by rebels because they had tried to smuggle out heavy weapons and hostages. Those in opposition to the government accused the regime of stopping the operation to attempt to secure evacuation of residents from two villages under rebel control in the northwest of Syria, Fuaa and Kafraya.
The heavy assault led by Assad began in November and has sparked outrage around the globe due to clear violation of human rights that have resulted and the killing of innocent civilians. Since the beginning of this violent stretch within Aleppo, thousands of civilians have managed to flee the portions of the city that are in control of opposition forces.
There have been constant attempts since the suspension of evacuations to secure the evacuations to continue as planned, by main regional supporters. The publication notes the actions taken.
“Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government is a key backer of the opposition, said he had spoken more than a dozen times with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Friday. The official Iranian news agency IRNA later said the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran would meet Tuesday in Moscow to discuss the Syria conflict.”
The United Nations Security Council in New York is likely to vote by this weekend on a proposal that will allow urgent aid deliveries within Aleppo.
The drafted document that was seen by members of the AFP stated that the council was “alarmed” by the worsening situation and by the fact that “tens of thousands of besieged Aleppo inhabitants” are in grave need of an evacuation to be followed through.
[Feature Image by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images]