October 22, 2020

Syrian airstrike in city of Aleppo

By Emily Solinski
Staff Writer 

Unremitting airstrikes that targeted the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday, Sept. 25, claimed 85 lives and left more than 300 people wounded, according to CNN.

Russian and Syrian military offensives have caused the city of Aleppo to be a central focus in targeting jihadist rebels in the Syrian civil war. With the city near collapse, the United Nations (UN) Security Council held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the crisis in Aleppo.

“What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counterterrorism, it is barbarism,” said Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the UN, according to CNN.  

Within the past year since Russia began its air campaign, 3,800 Syrian civilians have been killed, according to CNN.  This bloodshed in Syria has become a greater international concern, as attempts at a cease-fire have proved unsuccessful.

According to CNN, the Syrian ceasefire attempted earlier in the week wasn’t fulfilled. Instead, the United States and Russia accused one another of not satisfying their commitments. After the U.S. conducted an airstrike on Syria on Saturday, Sept. 17, which the Pentagon claimed to be an accident, Russia proceeded with airstrikes, ignoring plans for ceasefire.

In an attempt to intervene in the assault on Aleppo, the U.S. threatened to stop plans for a joint military targeting of jihadists rebels with Russia and Syria until the bombings in Aleppo end, according to The New York Times.

However, the Russian government does not seem to be considering halting airstrikes in the near future. According to CNN, Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, said on Thursday, Sept. 29, that Russia would continue to support the Syrian military in its offensive.

Russia claims its mission in continuing airstrikes in Syria is founded in fighting terrorism.

“In Syria, Russia is pursuing only one specific goal, it has been determined and announced — it is the fight against the international terrorism,” said Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Russian news, according to CNN.

These continual assaults from airstrikes have resulted in extreme shortages in hospitals. Many face lack of medicine, blood supplies and doctors, according to CNN.  The capability to treat the wounded from the constant bombing is unavailable in the city.

Stephen O’Brien, an official from the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, described the instability of the eastern part of Aleppo, where residents are “being subjected to deprivation, disease and death in increasing numbers and with increasing ferocity,” CNN reported.  

According to the same article, O’Brien described the Syrian civil war as the “ultimate humanitarian shame that is Syria today, and in east Aleppo in particular.”

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