Tuesday, 9 February 2016

'There is no hope': Residents in Aleppo say world has abandoned them

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 'Residents of rebel-held areas of Aleppo say that floundering western efforts to broker a peace deal in Syria are irrelevant to people facing a daily onslaught of Russian air strikes and preparing to defend themselves from advancing pro-government forces.

 Umm Layla, a street vendor, also said she believed that a peace deal was impossible. “This is the third conference. What have the previous conferences done for us? What have they done except bomb us with planes. The planes are killing us.”

 “I believe there is no hope, none at all,” said Abu Umar, another resident.

 “The killing of the Syrian people over the last five years is unprecedented in that the world is standing by watching it happen,” said a local doctor, who did not want to give his name.

 “People have been dying in such a public way,” said a German rebel fighter who did not want to be identified. “I came here to help when no one else did. Yet if I wanted to return home for any reason then I will be arrested and put into prison. It’s unreal."

 “The reason for the severe bombardment is that the people here belong to the revolutionaries. They want freedom and they want an end to the regime,” said Abu Jafar, an elderly man who spoke to MEE in the town of Harytan on the outskirts of Aleppo, a few kilometres south of the Shia-majority villages of Nubl and Zahra, where government forces last week broke a years-long siege by rebels.
 As Abu Jafar spoke, two rockets slammed into a nearby building, forcing him to duck for cover, although neither rocket exploded. He said residents had been living with the constant threat of air strikes for years, but had nowhere to go.
 “Go where? A refugee camp? They are bombing those too. It’s better if my family and I are killed in our own home.” '

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