War is horrifically, painfully, and unconscionably nothing new. So why does Aleppo seem different?
“We have never before received such a deluge of images from any front,” writes Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times, “never gotten such an intimate, minute-by-minute, look at what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday most likely constituted war crimes.”
According to The Independent, six different sources confirmed that as Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad took control of Aleppo after a four-year battle with rebels, they shot 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children. In one of the most haunting visuals to emerge amidst footage of Syrian activists and citizens bidding farewell to the world, Bana al-Abed, a 7-year-old Syrian girl, announced into a camera, “Please, save us, thank you.” Her mother, Fatemah, who helps her run a Twitter account, wrote on Monday, “I am very surprised I am tweeting right now & still alive.”
Following reports of ceasefires, renewed violence, and civilian evacuations stalled and undertaken has been dizzying these last several days. It has been reality for Syrians throughout the more than five-year civil war that has raged through the country, killing an estimated 400,000 people as of April 2016.
While what is happening in Syria might not fit the strict definition of genocide, it is, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “nothing short of a massacre.”
As we contend with this human tragedy, the words “Never again” are ringing out yet again…like they did after the beginning of the Darfur genocide that continues today. Or after the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Stop Genocide Now’s mission is to stand with people in grave danger of violence, death, and displacement, people like those who are suffering in Syria. We do this in the hope that the global community will finally say “Never again” and mean it. Until that day, we hope you will stand with us and with the people of Syria.