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13th Dec 2016

Reports of mass executions in Aleppo as Syrian army closes in on victory

The dictator's forces are closing in on recapturing the city.

Alan Loughnane

Action is needed.

Aid workers and agencies within Aleppo have appealed for citizens to be protected before it’s too late from what they call arbitrary executions of civilians by Syrian government forces.

Forces loyal to the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are closing in on the final rebel enclaves in the city as Assad nears a key victory in the war.

“We need to act now,” said Pawel Krzysiek, the head of communications at the International Committee of the Red Cross, told the Guardian. “We need to depoliticise the process of protecting civilians. We need to put their lives first. And we need to do it now before it is not too late.”

They want to remove the politics from the situation and just help the people trapped between the battling rebels and army.

“In order for this to happen, we appeal to the parties to put humanity ahead of military objectives”, said ICRC’s Head of Delegation in Syria, Marianne Gasser, currently in Aleppo. “We stand ready to oversee the implementation of any mutual agreement that puts civilians first. We cannot urge this strongly enough: this must happen now.”

Around 100,000 civilians are trapped in a rapidly shrinking patch of opposition territory that is under sustained attack by Assad’s followers, Russian airpower and Iranian-backed militias. the area is said to be just four square kilometres.

People in the city have been posting messages on social media in the hope of getting aid.

“As the battle reaches new peaks and the area is plunged into chaos, thousands with no part in the violence have literally nowhere safe to run,” the International Red Cross said earlier today.

After more than four years of battle, the Syrian forces are closing in on victory in the city as people huddle in the wet streets and buildings for cover from the attacks.

Messages from the public suggest that they will be killed once Assad’s forces reach them.

Unconfirmed reports over night suggested that at least 80 civilians, including women and children, had been lined up against the wall and shot by pro-government militias.

Main image via BBC.


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