The last few days have witnessed the descent of Aleppo into the dark ages. All remaining hospitals within the besieged areas of the city have been hit by Assad and Putin. Assad and Putin’s systematic targeting of hospitals, schools, and civilian infrastructure must stop and it must stop immediately and unconditionally.
It is well-documented that Daesh does not exist in Aleppo. Assad and Putin’s unsubstantiated claims for airstrikes on the city are only an excuse to terrorise the civilians of the city into submission.
It is also deeply infuriating that in the midst of this unprecedented level of violence, European leaders are meeting to discuss a political solution that could be negotiated with Assad and Putin. It seems that we have not learned from our previous failures. Political negotiations with these war criminals will only be effective if backed with credible threats of enforcement.
To this end, we are calling upon our Government to take immediate and robust action to end the carnage in Aleppo. Specifically, we are calling upon the Government to:
- Impose immediately a no-bombing zone in Syria enforced by a threat of strikes against Assad regime military targets which will not entail boots on the ground, flights over Syrian airspace, or a direct confrontation with Russia
- Conduct humanitarian aid drops to besieged areas inside Syria
- Introduce additional sanctions against the Assad regime and its backers
- Track and publicly report aircraft that are responsible for attacks on civilian areas as a means of ‘naming and shaming’ the perpetrators
- Pursue an emergency special session within the UN General Assembly as a means of circumventing Russia’s persistent use of the veto in the UN Security Council
- Continue to push for accountability for perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
History is being written. In twenty years we will look back on Aleppo and question why we did not do more. Inaction is a choice. We do not want to view Aleppo the same way we view Srebrenica and Rwanda today. It is never too late to act. History compels us to act.
Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, Rethink Rebuild Society
Amr Salahi, Syria Solidarity UK
Dr. Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal, Syrian Association of Yorkshire
Abdullah Alobwany, Oxford for Syria
Dr. Amer Masri, Scotland4Syria
Dr. Mohammad Tammo, Kurds House
Dr Hassan Dibs Wazait, Syrian British Medical Society
Mazen Ejbaei, Help 4Syria
Bachar Hakim, Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire
Dr. Mohammad Alhadj Ali, Syrian Welsh Society
Dr. Fadel Moghrabi, Peace and Justice for Syria
Reem Assil, Syrian Platform for Peace
Dr. Abdullah Hanoun, Syrian Community of the South West