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Bombs and Hunger

August 17, 2016
topic:Political violence
tags:#Aleppo, #Syria
by:Oliver M. Piecha
The districts of Aleppo held by opponents of the Syrian regime have been surrounded and are going to be starved out. But instead of acting forcefully against Bashar al-Assad as well as the Islamists, the USA and European states seem indifferent and helpless in their attitude towards the war in Syria.

The Russian airforce has certainly understood one thing: If the USA bombard a hospital like they did in October 2015 in Kundus, this makes headlines worldwide. But if they themselves reduce dozens to ashes no one cares. For once, because nobody considers Russian politics to hold any moral integrity but also because the global public, as well as politicians, no longer care about what happens in Syria. The current drama unfolding in the sieged districts of Aleppo is just a very awful example. Last week the Russian airforce even destroyed the garbage trucks delivered by Turkey and cut the water supply in Aleppo. Now the part of town which is not controlled by the Syrian army is isolated from any supply. The aim of these actions was to rob the 250 000 to 300 000 people still persevering in those districts of their livelihoods. As they are Sunnites and potential opponents of Assad’s rule they just bother the regime of Bashar al-Assad anyway. For many, the way through the escape passages made up by Syrian propaganda would most likely lead straight into the overcrowded prisons of the regime, this is just in case they are not shot in the head and end in the gutter.

Neither Iran nor the Hezbollah or Assad’s few elite troops, which are at all still involved in the fights, can afford costly house-to-house fighting – therefore the city has to be starved out and surrender. By no means would this bring a decision of the war. How could it as the regime only survives thanks to the massive military intervention of its mentors in Iran and Russia. But in the Western world, not least with people like German foreign minister like Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the parroting of Russian and Syrian propaganda about the imminent victory of Assad and the need to start negotiations with the dictator, will increase. The only true winners in this fight will be the Islamists whom they allegedly all fight.

Initially, the free part of Aleppo was left to be taken over by the Islamic fundamentalists because the al-Nusra-front, which last week renamed itself as it partly broke away from al-Qaida, now forms a joint front with other rebel groups in the North. Thus the powerful Islamists and their aim to break through the siege have become the last hope of the people in Aleppo. A great result indeed, one is inclined to think remembering that not only the US government under Barack Obama declared their intention to defeat the »Islamic State« and the other jihadists in Syria. But there is not only no word on Aleppo but instead, the USA are quite importunate in offering themselves to Russia as co-operation partner for further bombardments like the US Secretary of State exemplified over the past weeks. After the terror attack in the German city of Ansbach, now even German chancellor Angela Merkel has declared to be at war with the »caliphate«. According to the logic of the Western attitude towards the war in Syria, this would mean that the German airforce now has to bombard hospitals and schools in Aleppo and other places in Northern Syria.

This comment appears in courtesy of Jungle World where it was first published in German. 

Article written by:
oliver m. piecha
Oliver M. Piecha
© Clarissa Ward, CNN
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