This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Syrian Crisis After Crisis

"This is an emerging humanitarian crisis. There is extreme suffering, and people are not being protected."
"We're also seeing a huge increase in the number of civilian casualties. More and more people are being hurt because the intensity of bombing is greater."
"It's hard to imagine that the conditions in Syria could have become worse than they already were, but they have."
Rae McGrath, country director for Turkey and North Syria, American aid agency Mercy Corps

"People are basically running around from place to place looking for safety, but there's nowhere for them to escape to. It's extremely bleak."
Nadim Houry, Human Rights Watch

"Civilians have been left with nowhere safe to flee. Schools, markets and bakeries are being bombed and women ad children are under fire."
Jan Egeland, secretary general, Norwegian Refugee Council

"MSF is appalled that a health structure and medical staff providing life-saving treatment to wounded victims of an indiscriminate bombing campaign are once again targeted. We hear the pain and despair of these medics, who are struggling with the odds so heavily stacked against them. Day after day, these doctors and nurses are working under siege and under bombs; they have very limited equipment, and are forced to work in converted makeshift buildings."
"With two talented medics very seriously wounded, the number of medics available for these besieged communities, under a torrent of bombs, has shrunk even further."
Brice de le Vingne, MSF director of operations
Bashar al-Assad, left, with Vladimir Putin in Moscow this monthBashar al-Assad, left, with Vladimir Putin in Moscow   Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/AP

The humanitarian crisis in northern Syria, a country already utterly devastated and mostly by its own government's unrelenting bombing of towns and cities that house Syrian Sunni civilians who support the Syrian rebels fighting to remove Bashar al Assad from the presidency, is being further devastated. Russian airstrikes have succeeded in shutting down critical humanitarian and medical aid supply routes to areas desperate for help.

And just as Bashar al Assad distinguished himself by bombing schools and bakeries and hospitals, the Russian military as though inspired by the harsh brutality of the regime they are defending, have taken to performing the very same actions, bombing bakeries and hospitals and in the process killing and maiming a growing number of Syrian civilians.

Aid agencies operating in the region have been forced to cut back their activities and in some instances have been unable to operate at all in aid of desperate civilians having nowhere else to turn. Border crossings and highways used for the delivery of humanitarian supplies through Turkey have  hampered aid agencies in their operations, leaving millions of people without the aid they have become so dependent on.

Residents inspect damage on the main field hospital in Douma, Damascus, after it was bombed
Residents inspect damage on the main field hospital in Douma, Damascus, after it was bombed Photo: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

A report tabled in December by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs documents these calamities where hospitals and health facilities are being bombed leaving the injured unable to seek medical help. The UN reports that around twenty medical facilities have been hit throughout the country since the Russian launch of airstrikes from the end of September forward.

The aid agency Mercy Corps representing one of the largest food providers in northern Syria has found itself able to deliver a mere fifth of the food it normally provides to people living under siege. Eastern Syria has see an escalation of attacks by Russian war planes, where the Islamic State has its presence, but even Russia's own military reports admit that the majority of Russian air strikes have been conducted against the rebel-held northwestern provinces of Latakia, Aleppo and Idlib.

Turkey, responding to the demands by the European Union to more actively help stem the flow of refugees to Europe has restricted access to Syrians attempting to cross, leaving no options open for Syrians trying to escape the conflict, according to Nadim Houry of Human Rights Watch. Turkey has also been accused of maltreating Syrian refugees to force them to return to Syria, back to the conflict zones, to decrease the pressure on Turkey hoping to diminish the number of refugees it harbours.

Aid workers are convinced that the attacks on civilian infrastructure are deliberate, citing their frequency. Twelve medical facilities in northern Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders have been hit by bombs since the Russian intervention in Syria, according to Pablo Marco, head of the agency's programs in Syria. According to his reckoning these were no accidental bombings.

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