As the violent civil war that has been killing Syria bit by bit for the last five years is nearing a painful, dreadful end, the world is witnessing an unusual humanitarian crisis.
Aleppo, the largest city in the country, has been under the control of the rebel fighters. But the terrific and prolonged war with the powerful Syrian-Russian forces to establish a supremacy over the city has made them flee Aleppo, pushing the region into a total chaos and landing the future of the remaining civilians in uncertainty.
There were reports that the Assad government, according to a ceasefire deal reached between Turkey and Russia, agreed to permit the civilians in Aleppo to be evacuated to Idlib, another city under the rebels’ control. Not only did Assad not keep the pact but the innocent civilians are also being subjected to a brutal genocide, like they have feared. Heartbreaking images and video clips, showing the plight of the Aleppans, posted on social media websites are appalling. The pictures of dead bodies, including that of children, lying among the debris of buildings shattered by Russian mortars and barrel bombs depict the depth and dimensions of the pain the civilians are in. In video clips posted to Twitter, people say they expect to be massacred anytime by the Syrian regime forces. They shoot videos standing in the face of death, requesting the world not to wait for another day to help them. The terrifying feeling of you being killed by a shell the next moment is what is reflected in the videos.
While the savagery of the Russian forces seems to wipe off the remaining human lives in the Eastern Aleppo any moment, that reminds the world of the old Tsarist brutality. As the forces of Syria and its allies resumed the shelling blaming the rebel militia for violating the peace-treaty, right watchers and nonaligned sources deem it as a conspiracy hatched by the Damascus-Tehran-Bagdad governments to topple the peace-moves.
Over one lakh people had earlier fled from Aleppo. It is said that the Shia extremists are trying to get their demands met by bargaining on the lives of civilians, including women and children, and the rebel fighters who are caught while trying to escape. The latest demand is that the fighters should surrender their weapons and move out completely from Shia-majority areas like Kafria and Fu’a that are under the control of Sunni rebels. Now, one has yet to see the number of civilians surrendering their lives amidst the crisis. “My name is Bana. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die,” read a tweet from 7-year old BanaAlabed. Even the question whether she would wake up to see the next dawn is irrelevant.
It was a fight kick-started by a section of Syrians on par with the Arab Spring, with the help of some world powers, to bring a democratic rule in the country. The mammoth task before the protesters was to bring down the autocratic regime of Bashar al-Assad. To pose the question of who is responsible for such an uprising meeting a disastrous end now will be a waste of time.
The revolution, that began in 2012, was initially supported by the US and Britan. Assistances of all sorts were also promised to fight against the Raqa’-based IS terrorists, who were trying to claim their authority across Syria. Various anti-Assad groups that stood under the umbrella of Free Syrian Army had got assistance from other groups like Jab’hat and Annusra and moral support from countries like Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The revolution even sent out a notion, a year ago, that the days of Assad in Syria have been numbered. However, the entry of Vladimir Putin into the scene in 2015 toppled the entire scenario. Tens of thousands were killed and several buildings including hospitals were destroyed in continuous attacks by Russian forces using barrel bombs. Around five lakh people have been killed so far. Half of the total population of the country have been displaced. Now in the end, the heart-rending massacre! The question left now is where Syria is heading to.
Even if Assad recapture Aleppo, it can’t be said he has won the war as two third of the country are still under the control of the rebels. Given the analysis of the experts that it’s the beginning of the culmination of the Syrian civil war, what should be feared is the return of an autocrat, who is more powerful and cruel.