HBG

Syria’s President Assad and Russia are trying to make it appear they are mounting a humanitarian operation in Aleppo by opening safe corridors for the 300,000 civilians and rebels they have laid siege to – in effect they are offering surrender or genocide.

Amid the back drop of 4 terror attacks in German and 2 in France this month a genocide is developing in Aleppo, which at the far end of the scale could see up to 300,000 Syrians killed in front of our eyes.  The regime has dropped leaflets saying 3 routes will be opened for civilians and 1 for ‘armed militants’ for whom it said there will be an amnesty. However, at time of writing the routes were not open, there is deep scepticism from both rebels and civilians, and no signs of an exodus. Unverified reports say a man was shot trying to leave down one of the ‘safe’ routes.

UOSSM the charity I support and advise has at last count 4 hospitals/clinics in Aleppo – all have been directly targeted by the Assad regime and Russian jets. They have now moved underground but are barely functioning. UOSSM only has a handful of doctors left in Aleppo and very few medicines.  This is the same for our partner charities SAMS and MSF.  With no food, no medicines and little chance of escape, the thousands trapped and starving in Aleppo have no hope unless the West and in particular the members of the International Syria Support Group act soon.

Since the last route out of Aleppo was cut off earlier this month, no food has come in and nobody has been allowed to leave. Like Halabja in the 1980’s and Srebrenica in the 1990’s the world seems paralysed to act.

Halabja happened at a time before blanket media and social media coverage, Srebrenica happened early in the days of 24 news, but the catastrophe in Aleppo is taking place in front of the world’s gaze.  Multiple social media feeds showing what is happen on an almost hourly basis. Opinion

How is it in the 21st Century that we can watch another genocide unfold in front of our eyes?

Despite Stephen O’Brien the UN Humanitarian Chief calling for a ceasefire, member states of the UNSC are not falling over themselves to bring this to fruition. The prospects for a US-Russia deal to end the violence lack credibility in the eyes of Syrians as the current US Administration has continuously failed to keep Russia to any of its promises and international obligations.

The terror events in Europe are undoubtedly the focus for those countries directly affected and many of them blame the uncontrolled flow of the millions of migrants into Europe over the last 4 years for the heightened terror threat.  Is it no surprise that there will be some ISIL terrorists amongst the millions who have fled to Europe.  The last time I was in Syria, around 12 months ago, Syrians I spoke to made clear the driving factor for them wanting to come to Europe was the bombs of the Assad’s aircraft and the terror unleashed by ISIL. Some of the Syrians believed that if they made it to Germany they would be given a house, a car, a job and money.  From their desperate position in Syria this must have seen like Nirvana.

It is obvious that there will be jihadists using the misery of the refugees as cover to enter Europe, and it is proven that there are also threats from ‘lone wolves’ and we need measures to seek to uncover them without alienating community relations. By working with Syrian, Iraqi and other communities in these threatened countries it is possible to help identify the good from the bad and  the ones to be watched. In parallel a more compassionate and comprehensive European policy on refugees and migration would remove the illegal smuggling routes, and instead allow for more effective vetting.

If the international community doesn’t act to protect civilians in Aleppo and across Syria it will further fuel the ISIL ideal to attack those who oppose them. The lack of political will to decisively engage in Syria for the last 5 years, personified by the potential Aleppo genocide will provide ‘foot soldiers’ for ISIL in Europe and elsewhere for the foreseeable future. The international community – with Europe at the forefront – has the opportunity to turn the tide against ISIL by finally making good of its promises of protecting Syrian civilians in Aleppo and across Syria. Only then can the prospects of finding a sustainable political solution become a reality.

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10 Comments on "If We Fail Aleppo It Will Fuel ISIL Terror"

  1. Surrender or starvation, isn’t that what every besieging army since the dawn of time has offered?. Assad may not care a whit for his people but that goes equally for the rebels who have chosen to continue fighting in residential areas despite the plight of their own people, they could surrender tomorrow but they won’t, the onus is now on them to end the fighting and the siege.
    As for the argument about the reasons for migration to Europe, did the Syrians who fled face bombs in Turkey?, Greece?, Macedonia?, Serbia?, Croatia?, Hungary?, Slovenia?.

    • ‘Surrender or starvation, isn’t that what every besieging army since the dawn of time has offered?’

      In 1977, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions prohibited the starvation of civilian populations as a method of warfare.

      It is a collective punishment.

      So called ‘humanitarian’ corridors are unsupervised by any international body and lead directly to Assad. This is a tyrant who stands accused by Amnesty, HRW and the UN of the Crime of Humanity of *extermination* of detainees.

      In addition to this over 5 medical facilities and hospitals have been hit in the last 10 days. The deliberate targeting of hospitals is also a warcrime.

      A maternity hospital in Idlib, sponsored by Save the Children, was hit 4 days ago

      Four make-shift hospitals in Aleppo were hit on 24 July

      As Amnesty and Physicians for Human Rights have documented it has been a deliberate strategy to target hospitals and medics. If you destroy one hospital or kill one doctor it is a stress multiplier: you remove health and emergency care for 10 000 people.

      The result is that hospitals are now one of the most dangerous places to be in the whole of rebel Syria.

      David Nott, the world famous surgeon who worked in Aleppo, talks about this here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/david-nott-interview-war-surgeon-reveals-how-healthcare-workers-are-being-targeted-in-syria-a6831646.html

      Like wise Samer Attar, am American doctor, talks about his time in Aleppo: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36905131

      If we allow this, if we as an international community, say this is OK… to starve children, to bomb doctors, hospitals and schools repeatedly, over months… then everything is permitted.

      • It’s pretty obvious that everything is permitted unless it happens to run contrary to the national interests of a select few nations or can provide a convenient casus belli for a planned intervention. There is currently no percentage in intervening in Syria and so the besieged have the alternatives, starve, surrender or breakout. It may not be palatable but there you go, that’s where we are and pathos isn’t going to change that.

  2. Peter Kennedy | 29th July 2016 at 6:59 pm | Reply

    “By working with Syrian, Iraqi and other communities in these threatened countries it is possible to help identify the good from the bad and the ones to be watched”

    I doubt that this will ever take place and taking the above picture as an example who do you propose to ask? There are no communities left, whole cities are being emptied and then levelled to the ground as their populations march north west. You could possibly keep track of a handful of dangerous individuals but last year Germany took in a million refugees and this year more are on the way. That’s a lot of background checks.

  3. Arnold Layne | 30th July 2016 at 1:11 am | Reply

    More lies and propaganda from agents for the US who want “regime change” in Syria. The vast majority of civilians support their government and the fight against foreign backed rebels and Jihadists.
    The start of the Syrian conflict in 2011 and all the way through has been grossly misreported to demonize Assad.
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/deconstructing-the-nato-narrative-on-syria/
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/daraa-2011-syrias-islamist-insurrection-in-disguise/5460547
    In 2001 US general Wesley Clark admitted that there was a US plan “to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..”
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166
    In a 2006 communique Wikileaks has shown that the US and Israel were plotting to overthrow Assad.
    https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06DAMASCUS5399_a.html
    Ron Paul, the ex US Presidential candidate refers to it in this article.
    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2015/september/24/us-exploited-assads-fight-against-al-qaeda/
    In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning covert operations in Syria with an invasion of gunmen – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run an oil pipeline from the latter’s North field contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/30/syria-chemical-attack-war-intervention-oil-gas-energy-pipelines
    In 2011 rebels were funded and armed by foreign powers who killed many innocent policeman and security forces brought in to quell the foreign backed coup. More policemen were killed than “demonstrators”. Rebels also fired on peaceful protesters blaming it on Assad which was duly reported in the main stream media which is the propaganda arm of Washington and it’s allies.
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/deconstructing-the-nato-narrative-on-syria/
    Neo-cons in Washington used the same modus operandi in Ukraine during the Maidan protests.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/10/us-imperialism-and-the-ukraine-coup/
    In 2012 an email From: Sidney Blumenthal To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2012-07-23. Quoting an Israeli security source Sidney Blumenthal wrote:
    [I]f the Assad regime topples, Iran would lose its only ally in the Middle East and would be isolated. At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.
    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12171
    Also in 2012 from Hillary Clinton’s email expose by Wikileaks which is particularly damning is a communication from Jared Cohen, the President of “Google Ideas,” (now called “Jigsaw”), which was sent on July 25, 2012.
    “Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from.” This “tool” was given to the media outlet al Jazeera.
    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2016/march/21/google-this-hillary-clinton-and-the-syrian-regime-change-conspiracy/
    With the weight of the US, NATO, EU, UK, Gulf States, main stream media and corporations like Google against Assad and with Western backed NGO’s like The Syria Campaign, The White Helmets etc. falsifying reports and photos the rest is history.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-are-syrias-white-helmets-first-responders-for-the-us-and-natos-al-nusraal-qaeda-forces/5532119

    • mahatmacoatmabag | 30th July 2016 at 6:25 pm | Reply

      To sum up your long and rambling list of false claims & links to spurious conspiracy theory websites Israel is the bogeyman behind it all. BTW You missed out blaming Israel for 9/11

  4. You bascilly want a regime change to help out ISIS and the Free Syrian Army whom are the Jihadists. I am not surprised that Hamish De Bretton Gordon has completely forgotten to mention that his beloved Moderate Syrian Rebels beheaded a Palestinian. child.

    “If the international community doesn’t act to protect civilians in Aleppo and across Syria it will further fuel the ISIL ideal to attack those who oppose them. The lack of political will to decisively engage in Syria for the last 5 years”

    This is rather comical at best when ISIS and before the Russians started to military intervene into Syria in 2015 and before 2014 ISIS and your beloved Moderate Jihadists Terrorists were spreading and apparently no one in the west seemed to care to much about it but that all changed when Russian militarily intervened to stop ISIS the real question here should be asked.

    On whose side are we the westerns on really in Syria Hamish De Bretton Gordon?

    Judging from your article Hamish De Bretton Gordon you bascilly want a safe corridors for all those terrorists and Jihadists that we had being supplying and funding.

    Syria isn’t Libya and the Russians arent going to give it up.

  5. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-hunger-aleppo-idUSBRE9680O520130709

    Its the Westerns Moderate Syrian Rebels besieging Aleppo for five years and the moderate rebels had being shelling minority areas. So Hamish De Bretton Gordon have to ask.

    No Fly Zones for whom again? our Western Moderate Jihadists?

  6. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon | 30th July 2016 at 10:59 am | Reply

    In the UK we are in a slightly different position to the rest of Europe. Our sea border is our greatest defence. Our focus is on lone wolves and clean skins radicalised on the internet and Jihadist networks in this country, close monitoring by the security services is essential to keep terror off our streets. But is we continue to fail the people of Aleppo and Syria they’ll either turn right to Raqqa or left to Europe. Can we sit by and do nothing as we did at Halabja and Screbrenica etc as women and children are massacred in front of us?

    • Can we sit by and do nothing as we did at Halabja and Screbrenica etc as women and children are massacred in front of us?

      Given that we sit by while approximately 15 million children under 5 die from completely preventable illness and disease every year then the answer to that question is undoubtedly yes, we do not and never have stood on any moral high ground. If the politicians of Europe begin to serve the interests of their own citizens rather than seeking a new cheap labour source then the people of Syria can be prevented from entering Europe. If they don’t they will find themselves being replaced by new more extreme alternatives.

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