ALEPPO UNDER SIEGE
Following months long battles over al-Mallah Farms in northwestern Aleppo, regime forces have descended onto the Castello Road and cut off the only supply route for eastern Aleppo. Now an estimated 300,000 Aleppians join another 1 million Syrians living under complete siege. Meanwhile the bombing that never stopped for a few years intensified.
“Al-Assad forces and Russian airplanes are trying to control this road to besiege Aleppo … Those civilians are in danger of a lack of food, medicine and everything. And all the world is silent towards these things. These crimes.” Make-shift Aleppo University lecturer AbdulKafi Alhamdo spoke to ITV about the siege.
Regime and Russian airstrikes on Aleppo City and the nearby town of Atareb rendered five hospitals and a blood bank inoperable.
Airstrikes on July 24 destroyed a warehouse where 10,000 food baskets were kept in preparation for the siege. The warehouse was operated by Ihsan Relief and Development.
Cultural heritage was again targeted. An air strike on July 26 destroyed 12th Century al-Salheen Mosque in the south of Old Aleppo.
Eight Russian air strikes targeted the Atareb market as shop owners were closing. Dozens were killed.
Earlier, on July 18, International Coalition airstrikes had killed over 70 civilians in ISIS-held Tokhar Kabir in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. On their Facebook outlet, al-Sultan clan published names and photos of eight whole families who died in the bombing.
Signs of food shortages appeared as early as July 14 as Aleppians stood in long queues to buy bread, as images by AFP photographer Karam Almasri show.
ACADEMICS AND CIVIL SOCIETY RESPOND
“We now know the pattern of besiegement in Syria and so we know what is to come in Aleppo.” The Aleppo Project: Aleppo Under Siege.
Syrian activists and civil actors launched a the Aleppo Pathway initiative to coordinate support for people trapped inside Aleppo. “The door remains open for any individual, institution, or organization that feels a sense of responsibility towards the situation in Aleppo to get involved in this initiative.”
Syria Pressure Advocacy Group (SPAG), a group of Syrian and international activists, called for worldwide protests against the sieges in Aleppo and the rest of Syria.