Unless there’s a YouTube angle, we rarely cover larger world issues here on We The Unicorns. But the recent devastation occurring in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, is hard to ignore no matter who or where you are.
We understand that it’s hard to be invested in a tragedy such as this without really understanding everything that’s going on. So hopefully we can offer a little insight; with the words and efforts of some of our favourite creators as support.
Aleppo was previously the most populated city in Syria, and recently a focus area of the ongoing Syrian civil war.
There has been ongoing conflict in Syria since the Arab Spring in 2011; but prior to this, Aleppo was a renowned and densely populated city in the Northwest of the country. It became a spot for rebel factions to gather, with the intent to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
More recently, rebel forces have been fighting against the combined efforts of Assad’s military and support from both Iran and Russia. They previously had control of large parts of the city; but Assad’s growing forces have been laying siege since September 2015.
In July of this year, Assad launched an all-out siege on rebel-controlled parts of Aleppo.
Supplies and humanitarian aid that over 320,000 people in Aleppo depended on were cut off by Assad’s blockades; while his forces simultaneously targeted medical facilities in rebel-controlled areas. Tens of thousands of civilians have reportedly been caught in the devastating crossfire; and there have been reports of women taking their own lives to avoid being raped by Assad’s forces.
Assad has been mostly free to practice this internationally illegal siege, because Western forces deem things “too risky” to get involved. This is mostly due to Russia’s heavy involvement in the conflict. In fact, coverage across our entire corner of the world was pretty scarce; until Aleppo’s citizens began taking to social media to update the world – and in many cases, say their goodbyes.
Earlier this month, an evacuation deal was struck between the rebels and Assad to allow some civilians to leave Aleppo.
The city has fallen tragically, while atrocities still occur throughout. At this moment, we don’t know for certain how many people have been able to leave the city; but those who are still stuck in the middle are facing little to no compassion from Assad’s forces, while Russian planes drop bombs from overhead.
But there are still ways to help.
Several humanitarian organisations are dedicated to protecting and offering aid to the citizens of Aleppo; and at this point, it’s a case of giving whatever you can. People have spent the past couple of weeks highlighting various options for supporting citizens and refugees alike
There’s no real end in sight to this tragedy; and it’s just one of many that have plagued the Middle East in recent years. But hopefully with a little more understanding, and influential creators using their platform to spread awareness, we can at least turn the eyes of the world onto these issues with great force.