When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Aleppo Is Even Worse Than Srebrenica — So Is Western Apathy

The humanitarian drama of the besieged city deepens. The people are simply not able to trust the alliance between Assad, Russia and Iran. And the West just looks on.

Survivors of Russian airstrikes in Aleppo earlier this year
Survivors of Russian airstrikes in Aleppo earlier this year
Richard Herzinger

-OpEd-

BERLIN — It is nearly 20 years since the West just looked on when Serbian troops massacred 8,000 inhabitants of the city of Srebrenica. It was the shock of this slaughter that finally pushed Western leaders to take action.

But today, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Aleppo that actually surpasses that of Srebrenica: some 300,000 civilians are surrounded by the military forces of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as Iranian and Russian troops. Starving people to death and targeting civilian organizations such as hospitals is central to the genocidal war machinery of the Moscow-Damascus-Tehran axis. And the United Nations and the West just leave them to it.

Russia and the Assad regime, without having consulted the international community, recently announced the establishment of routes into the city to guarantee its being provided with supplies. But they also demanded that the remaining civilian population of Aleppo should use these same routes to leave the city.

So the people face having to choose between two evils, either flee their homes or be mercilessly bombed and starved out. In truth, this is nothing more than forced displacement and therefore another war crime that is being committed by a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

[rebelmouse-image 27090380 alt="""" original_size="1024x768" expand=1]

A 2007 Reinterment and Memorial Ceremony in Srebrenica —Photo: Adam Jones

Sniper turns

The Western powers (in conjunction with Europe) would have become complicit in lethal warfare if this is part of the recently signed agreement between the U.S. and Russia to synchronize their actions in Syria and to legitimize such barbarian methods.

But it is more likely that Washington chose to be blinded by the Kremlin's hypocritical assurances that they would be a restraining force and curb Assad, who, without Moscow's and Teheran's military power, would have been finished a long time ago.

But so far, the supposed humanitarian routes apparently only exist in Russian propaganda. Humanitarian aid workers on the ground emphasize that people trying to flee along these corridors are often shot by regime snipers.

The Kremlin tries to portray itself as a humanitarian mediator while helping Assad to bomb his way toward the creation of a fait accompli. The West can no longer afford to condone these actions.

The West will have to attack regime strongholds and thereby force Assad and his allies to enter into negotiations for a truce and the creation of true civilian protection zones. Otherwise, the West will be left with nothing better than the remorse it showed after Srebrenica.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

Vladimir Putin delivers a speech to Russian people following the results of the referendum dealing with the annexation in four regions of Ukraine partly controlled by Moscow

Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger, Chloe Touchard, and Emma Albright

In a wide-ranging and provocative speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the annexation of four Ukraine regions, which Putin says now make Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson officially part of Russia.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Speaking in the Kremlin’s St George’s Hall, the much-anticipated address to the Russian nation follows the so-called "referendums" in the occupied areas of the four Ukrainian regions — which the West condemned as shams held under gunpoint. Friday’s annexation comes as Russia is losing territory on the ground following a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Putin directly addressed the leaders of Ukraine and "their real masters in the West," that the annexation was "for everyone to remember. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens. Forever."

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ