The Stalemate in Aleppo: Can we do anything to make it stop?

As the shrinking population of Syria grieves and bleeds, we “ought” to grieve (if not bleed) with them. As pictures of innumerable Syrians lying lifeless in the rubble, those with hopes and dreams just like us flood the internet; it becomes our moral responsibility that we feel their pain. We are obligated to talk about how the world powers failed to reach an accord on the evacuation of civilians and the rebels, how the government forces are blocking humanitarian aid and food to Aleppo, how ruthlessly they are butchering their very own population and about how “urgent” it is that a human corridor is established in Syria. In the words of journalist Bilal Adbul Kareem, “We are all praying for rain. When it rains, the planes can’t fly and the bombardment stops for a short while….We are hoping that it rains long enough for the powers of the world to do something to help the 150,000 civilians stuck in this small neighbourhood in Aleppo escape the carnage.”

What really worries me is that will this collective strong human voice against the massacre serve as a deterrent to those sitting at the power-table? Will it (if not completely deter) introduce second thoughts in their mind? If it does, then I think it is worth we try to make ourselves heard and give those few people hoping for a miracle their long-lost due. We can have long dissertations on demonetization and on Trump’s surprise win but at this hour, a dissertation on the lives of these innocent Syrians is as urgent and pressing as ever. We ought to talk about it and call upon people otherwise afraid to speak their mind, to speak up without any fear of censure and reprimand. The more numbers we add to the discussion table, the more weight we add to the humanitarian angle of the war and the more chances we have to attract funds and petitions to stop it.

As I write, I can’t help but notice the irony: the irony of me searching for “Aleppo war pictures in HD” to include in this very article: those I cannot stare at for a second before I choke up. It breaks my heart to watch the helpless people record farewell videos as they are stuck out there in rebel-held East Aleppo. Their poignant messages to the world, and to us, strike a chord as the government forces draw in closer and as death looms larger than ever for them. As the UN-brokered truce for the establishment of a human corridor is vetoed by Russia and China, the only hope we have is for the rest of the world to impose harsh sanctions on Russia, the Assad government and their allies so as to stop their immediate advancements. This is exactly where I feel we can play our part and be heard. Not that I wish to imply that the rebel-forces backed by the US are spotless and without anything to blame. It’s a complex war out there with each faction trying to gain more ground and cause maximum possible casualties in enemy-held strips of land. All I wish to put forward is that it is the need of the hour to reach onto an accord to establish a human corridor (at the least possible delay) to evacuate the residents out of active fighting zones. Even though a part of me tells me that it will be futile to try so hard to be heard and eventually fail; fail because their “Game of Chess” (with the Syrian lives as pawns) is already too close to closing in, a part of me still thinks that the loss will be less harder to digest when we try to do something to make it stop. Active action always weighs less heavy on the conscience than regret at our inability to act. We should do whatever it takes in our personal capacity and in the capacity of being a part of the world society at large for our fellow brothers and sisters in Syria. I hope and pray that the world doesn’t lose a single more life out there.

Let’s be heard. Let’s speak our mind. Let’s do our bit.

Ameen.

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