IN WEEK THAT ALEPPO BESIEGED UNDER INTENSE BOMBARDMENT OF ASSAD AND RUSSIA, CALL FOR ‘PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA’ IN IRISH TIMES OPED:
With the fall of east Aleppo now imminent, among the series of reports of the desperate plight of the population were one from American Dr Samer Attar who was in the last car out of Aleppo: ‘We had to stop doing CPR on a child who was severely injured in order to save someone else who was bleeding to death who we knew could be saved’. He added ‘that child could have [been saved], had we got the personnel and the resources…I saw children missing limbs, children holding their intestines in their hands, body parts on the floor…I saw parents running around looking for their children, trying to find out who is alive and who is dead…. The screaming never let up…. One nurse told me that he feels like people in Aleppo are like bugs being crushed and that the world has abandoned them.’ -see report here:
http://cnn.it/2a1tCv3 (14th July 2016).
Roy Gutman (Pulitzer prize winning reporter for A Witness to Genocide, on the 1993 ethnic cleansing of Bosnia) wrote a piece on July 12th on how the last supply route into Aleppo was cut under Syrian regime and Russian aerial bombardment, supported by Iranian troops on the ground –‘Assad Cuts the Last Road to Aleppo and Moves in for the Kill’:
Meanwhile the Irish Times op. ed. from Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA 15th July) calls for a ‘partnership with Russia’! It totally ignores Russian war crimes in Syria, as does a follow-up letter published on the 16th July:
A. Leavy (Letters Irish Times 16th July 2016 http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/a-partnership-with-russia-1.2723662A partnership with Russia?) states that Peace and Neutrality Alliance chairman Roger Cole’s call for ‘partnership with Russia’ (Roger Cole, ‘Corbyn will win contest and be prime minister’, Opinion & Analysis, July 15th) omits mention of Russian aggression in Ukraine. Neither Mr. Cole nor Mr. Leavy however mention Russian war crimes in Syria. According to Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director of Amnesty International, ‘Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy.’ The removal of this vital lifeline has meant that local populations have had no choice but to flee -clearing important areas of ‘problematic residents’, a deliberate regime and Russian strategy according to Syria analyst Emile Hokayem.
Starvation sieges are another means of breaking the population -the regime, aided by Iranian and Hezbollah forces have now surrounded 400,000 people trapped in east Aleppo.
Diane Abbott MP, close ally to Jeremy Corbyn has –eventually -recognised the targeting of populated areas by Syrian Government and Russian forces and called for a no-bombing zone ‘with explicitly outlined consequences to protect civilians in Syria.’ (Diane Abbott letter via Syria UK Solidarity website: http://www.syriauk.org/2016/06/welcome-support-for-no-bombing-zone.html )
Videos of horrific suffering of Syrian civilians under incessant bombardment help the recruitment drive of IS and Jabhat al-Nusra. Videos of horrific suffering of Syrian civilians under incessant bombardment help the recruitment drive of IS and Jabhat al-Nusra as jihadists flock to Syria or seek revenge in EU cities. What happens in Aleppo doesn’t stay in Aleppo. Even Jeremy Corbyn may not share Mr Cole’s enthusiasm for seeking ‘partnership with Russia’ these days.