Aleppo happened, and the world watched
When the Paris attacks happened in November of 2015 the news world erupted with calls to “Pray for Paris.” During the Pulse shooting in June of 2016 the world mourned, the hashtag #OrlandoStrong trended and same-sex couples everywhere took to the internet in outrage. In the Pulse attack a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 more; in Paris ISIS supporters killed 130 people and injured another 367.
In November alone forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad killed 1,279 civilians in Aleppo and current evacuation plans have halted, leaving an estimated 100,000 civilians trapped in the city.
The world as a whole has done little to help Syrians trapped in the country. Few news outlets have published information compared to the response after the Pulse and Paris attacks. So far the United States has had a limited response to the human rights crisis in Aleppo. United Nations ambassador Samantha Power has spoken out against the massacre of civilians, but the U.S. has not issued an official statement. By waiting to issue a statement about the crisis in Aleppo, the U.S. has postponed any aid that would help to remove the citizens from a dangerous situation.
The failed evacuations came less than one day after the U.N. human rights office reported it had evidence of Syrian government forces shooting civilians in their homes. Some Syrians trapped in the city took to Twitter to say their goodbyes to loved ones, many amazed that they had survived trapped in the city as long as they had.
Final message – people are dying since last night. I am very surprised I am tweeting right now & still alive. – Fatemah #Aleppo
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 12, 2016
To everyone who can hear me!#SaveAleppo#SaveHumanity
— Lina shamy (@Linashamy) December 12, 2016
#Aleppo yesterday & over the past months that draw us to die or on the edge of death every minute.#SOS #SaveAleppo
— Zouhir_AlShimale (@ZouhirAlShimale) December 13, 2016
On Dec. 12, Pro-Assad forces executed 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children.
Regardless of personal beliefs, everyone should condemn the massacre of people who have only committed the crime of living in the wrong city. Yet the world stalls as innocent people die trying to escape unbelievable violence. World leaders should react with the same level of outrage at the loss of all human life, regardless of where on the planet it occurs. The lack of response by the larger world condemns the citizens of Aleppo.
Concerned citizens can call their national government representatives, donate to relief agencies such as UNICEF and Save the Children, and they can support the global refugee effort. Locally, posting on social media can help raise awareness of the crisis in Syria and the refugee crisis as a whole. Together the world can help save those in danger and prevent another crisis of this magnitude from happening.