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The New Arab

Desperate Aleppo citizens make rare video plea for help

Besieged residents and doctors plea for aid as Aleppo faces starvation [YouTube]

Date of publication: 25 November, 2016

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Syrian doctors, rescue workers and residents holding the revolution flag appear in a video appeal pleading the world to take action before Aleppo starves.
Desperate citizens of East Aleppo facing a bitter winter without food, fuel or medical supplies have made a video plea for help.

With the backdrop of a ruined city, and holding the revolution flag, doctors, civil defence volunteers, activists and residents have urged the world to make airdrops of humanitarian supplies.

"How many hospitals or schools does it take to see real actions against war crimes in Syria? It can't get more gruesome than this," said Dr Hamza Khatib, speaking in English.

"Don't look back years from now and wish that you can do something; you can still."

The plea comes as the United Nations awaits President Bashar al-Assad and Russia's approval to deliver aid to the besieged city.

Civilians have less than ten days to receive supplies or face starvation, the leader of the White Helmets said on Friday.

At least 2,300 documented strikes have hit eastern Aleppo in the last 23 days, Khatib said, adding that these included airstrikes, explosive barrels, artillery, cluster bombs, bunker-busters, bombs loaded with chlorine gas.

Four hospitals were struck in the last week, along with six schools, the civil defence headquarters and two bakeries.

Khatib said the Syrian regime and its Russian backers are intentionally targeting civilian infrastructure to "break people's will". Starving, dying people with little to no access to medical care are afraid to go to hospitals, he added, as they fear becoming the victims of the latest bombings.

In the video, posted by the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, Khatib called upon the international community to open a demilitarised humanitarian corridor under the UN's control for the delivery of food, fuel, medicine and infrastructure supplies for water stations, electricity, hospitals, schools and civil defence.

He also called for the grounding of Assad's air force or using diplomatic leverage to end regime bombardment of the city.

The past six years have been a "slow-motion train wreck," he added, leaving him and his colleagues wondering what good is the United Nations. "The dysfunctionality of the world is responsible for 500,000 deaths", Khatib added.




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