Presidential candidates better study up on the Syrian city of Aleppo because it may now be the most dangerous city in the world to live in.
Since the Syrian Army announced on Thursday, September 15th a new offensive in Aleppo, hundreds of civilians have been killed according to the Wall Street Journal, along with rescuers and medical workers on the ground.
The White Helmets, a civil group that responds to bombings and attacks to look for survivors and provide medical care, director Ammar Ahmad Alselmo says that over 320 people have been killed since the Syrian cease fire collapsed.
The most recent nationwide cease fire broke down last week amid the widely reported bombing of a U.N Humanitarian convoy. On Monday of last week, a convoy carrying supplies near Aleppo was hit; both Russia and the United States claim the other is responsible.
The rebel held areas of Aleppo have pointed to Russia as the source of bombs dropped across the city. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised to retake Aleppo from the rebels notwithstanding efforts by the U.S and Russia to broker a diplomatic end to the civil war. Syrian and Russian military officials routinely refer to any rebels as terrorists so their dedication to cease-fire agreements are often hard to discern.
U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the indiscriminate bombing that has occurred this week may be war crimes because of their concentration in densely populated areas. An emergency meeting of the U.N over Aleppo was called today.
Russia has reported using “bunker busters” which are designed to break through concrete structures and are likely the cause massive craters throughout Aleppo. The Wall Street Journal reports that along with the “bunker busters,” Aleppo was being hit with “phosphorus, cluster and barrel bombs in opposition-held neighborhoods where some 300,000 people live under siege.”
Barrel bombs large oil drums filled with explosives and shrapnel have been used by the Syrian regime since the beginning of the civil war. Many buildings throughout the city have been damaged for some time now. The combination of the high powered “bunker bombs” and barrel bombs from the past have caused buildings to collapse throughout the city.
United States Ambassador the U.N, Samantha Power said in the emergency meeting today that Russia has told the council lies; she claims they talk of peace at the U.N Security Council meetings while simultaneously preparing for offensives.
Aleppo will prove to be a key city for the tide of the war. As the Presidential debate season begins in the United States, the candidates will be well advised to focus on the ancient city.
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