“We are being left to die as the world watches.”
The people of Aleppo need the international community’s protection. In the past week, the Assad regime and its allies have escalated their bombings of civilian homes and hospitals across Aleppo, killing more than 200 civilians in the process. We, as representatives of Syrian civil society and humanitarian groups, strongly condemn the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Syria and demand civilian protection. Without the international community’s protection and concrete action to stop the bombs across Aleppo, where 250,000 people still remain, there is a very real chance that Aleppo will be entirely destroyed and more will die.
The international community’s failure to prioritize our protection amounts to a death sentence. We are being left to die as the world watches.
In spite of the Syrian Cessation of Hostilities, one Syrian is being killed every 25 minutes. In Aleppo on Wednesday 27 April, at least 50 patients, medics and doctors were killed, including the last remaining Pediatrician of Aleppo, Dr. Wassim, after the Syrian regime bombed Al Quds hospital. Just two days earlier, on April 25, five rescue workers from the White Helmets were killed during regime airstrikes on Atareb, western Aleppo province. The attack came shortly after Russian airstrikes that killed ten civilians in Aleppo. A week earlier, the Syrian regime launched attacks in a marketplace in Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province that left dozens dead, including many women and children.
The Syrian regime is deliberately targeting civilians and hospitals. It is intentionally destroying medical facilities, schools, and marketplaces in an effort to bomb civilians into submission. People the Syrian regime cannot kill by air, it starves on land. Assad’s troops continue to besiege civilian towns across the country, where they impose deliberate starvation methods and confiscate medical relief items from aid convoys. As a result of these sieges, more than 18 cities and towns across Syria are under siege. But just one area—Dier Ezzor—receives airdrops. For months, we have appealed to the international community to airdrop aid to all besieged areas, including to Homs and Hama. Our calls have gone unanswered.
We do not understand why we are being condemned to death when there are concrete steps that the international community could take to protect us. We appeal to the international community to prioritize our protection and do what it takes to stop the bombs across Syria. Help us save our Syria. More lives need not be lost.
• Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression • Independent Doctors Association •
• Baytna Syria • Union of Syrian Civil Society Organizations • Zaytoon • Peace and Justice for Syria •
• Dr Amer Masri • Alaa Basatneh • SAY • Zaad • Syrian Welsh Society • Rethink Rebuild Society •
• Syria Solidarity UK • Scotland4Syria • Help4Syria • Syrian Society in Nottinghamshire •
• Syrian Platform for Peace • Kurds House •