The situation is grim in Aleppo, and as civilians and fighters struggle to find a way out of the war-ravaged city, without water or food, women have one more unthinkable issue to deal with-the threat of being raped. News comes by way of Abdullah Othman, the head of the Consultive Council in the Levant Front, which is one of Aleppo’s biggest rebel groups, that 20 women have committed suicide this morning in order to avoid being raped.
President Assad’s troops invaded Aleppo on Monday, when they seized half of the rebel-held areas of the city, yet civilians continue to be killed and subjected to violence, as well as sexual assault, as the Express shares. A nurse’s suicide note was posted online by aid worker Abdullateef Khaled, which explains why she is killing herself.
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In the letter, she writes: “I am one of the woman in Aleppo who will soon be raped in just moments..there are no more weapons or men that can stand between us and the animals who are about to come called the ‘country’s army’.”
She adds: “I am committing suicide not due to no reason but because I do not want several members of the Assad Regime to savour raping me while just yesterday they were afraid to say the word ‘Aleppo’.”
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Despite many civilians having fled Aleppo over the recent weeks, there are thousands that remain while being subjected to human rights abuses and bombings. Although this is the tragic situation, the international community fears intervening due to the fears of escalating any tensions with Syrian allies, Russia and Iran.
Othman added: “Men, women and children were being cooked alive by barrel bombs dropped right where they stood.
“Women and children – their screams can be heard underneath the rubble.”
The United Nations top human rights officials charged the United States and other countries for standing back collectively in the face of “wanton slaughter of men, women and children” in Aleppo and pleaded for the international community to take action to protect those attempting to flee the violent ground offensive by Russian and Syrian forces.
“The U.N. received verified reports that many civilians had been killed either by vicious bombardment or direct executions at the hands of pro-government forces. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, released a statement.
“Dozens of bodies reportedly litter the streets of a number of east Aleppo neighborhoods, with residents unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment and fear of being shot,”
He went on to plead for action against “the crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction,” the Jordanian-born U.N. official warned, “We are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict.”
Hussein then reminded what continuously dire situations will ensue if the global community remains “collectively wring its hands,” noting that the slaughter in Aleppo will be repeated in Douma, Raqqa and Idlib, which are other opposition-held areas in the war-ravaged nation. “We cannot let this continue,” he said.
Since pro-government forces bombarded the city of Monday, many sick and elderly have died of the frigid temperatures in eastern Aleppo, after homes were bombed out. More than 100 children were unaccompanied and reportedly trapped in a building under heavy attack as UNICEF reported and The Daily Beast notes.
Head of the local coordinating committee for Aleppo shared that regime forces have captured and withheld any remaining food supplies in the eastern portion of the city and there are now no functioning bakeries, leaving no food for civilians who remain. The water supply has also reportedly run out, according to ground reports.
[Feature Image by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images]