This Thursday the United Nations made an appeal to all sides involved in the conflict in Syria. The UN is asking those involved in the conflict to allow for food deliveries to go through to the eastern part of Aleppo. That part of the city is still under the control of rebel forces that are fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are still approximately 250,000 residents in eastern Aleppo and they have been under siege for months now. The eastern part of Aleppo was hit by airstrikes from Syrian as well as Russian forces.
Eastern Aleppo Is Running Out of Food Supplies
The situation in Aleppo is desperate as the people that are still in the city are down to their last food rations. The civilians that are in the middle of the conflict are in need of humanitarian relief. The airstrikes have affected the infrastructure of the city. But now, more urgently, the residents of eastern Aleppo are running out of basic food supplies.
Jan Egeland is the United Nations official who is in charge of the humanitarian task force for Syria. He spoke about the severity of the situation at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
“I don’t think anybody wants a quarter of a million people to be starving in east Aleppo,”
said Jan Egeland.
Since the middle of July, there have been no more deliveries of food supplies to the eastern part of Aleppo.
“The last food rations are being distributed as we speak. There will not be more to distribute next week,”
added Jan Egeland.
The City of Aleppo Is Divided in Two
The city of Aleppo has become the main battleground of the conflict in Syria. On one side of the conflict, there is an alliance of rebel groups that have the support of Western forces as well as jihadist fighters. On the other side of the conflict is the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those who support him, Russia and Iran. President Bashar al-Assad has publicly promised to retake the city of Aleppo from the rebel groups.
The images of devastation with demolished buildings and crumbling infrastructure that have received so much attention are from the eastern part of Aleppo. The western side of the city is still under the control of government forces. According to reports from journalists that visited the city recently, that part of Aleppo looks surprisingly normal.
But the eastern side of Aleppo has sustained heavy damage from the airstrikes. There were hundreds of casualties, including children. There were civilian casualties on the western side as well. That part of the city saw some shelling from insurgents.
UN official Jan Egeland said that Syria is probably looking at another winter of war. Taking that into consideration, bringing emergency relief to the civilian population of Aleppo could be critical to survival.
The appeals of the UN did not move the Russian Defense Ministry. A spokesman for the ministry, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that a pause would be “counterproductive and against common sense.” He added that militants in eastern Aleppo would only exploit the food deliveries to “better restore their battleworthiness.”
Image source: here.