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The agony of Aleppo

Published by The Economist on Thu, 29 Sep 2016


IN THE past week eastern Aleppo, a rebelheld area that is home to more than 250,000 people, has endured a typhoon of shrapnel. Rebel groups say the regime of Bashar al-Assad is pursuing 'a scorched earth policy to destroy the city and uproot its people'. Mr Assad is trying to regain full control over the western slice of the country, where some 70% of Syrians live. His Russian allies are helping, using the same tactics and some of the weapons that turned the Chechen capital, Grozny, into a smouldering ruin in 1999.Since the collapse of the short-lived ceasefire brokered by America and Russia, hundreds of air strikes and shells have slammed into the eastern part of the city. Activists counted 250 separate strikes on a single day last week as the regime seeks to seize the opposition's last big urban stronghold. On September 27th the regime, backed by Shia militias from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon, launched a ground assault targeting rebel positions across the divided city.'The situation is intense,' says one of the few remaining paediatricians in eastern Aleppo, who calls himself only Dr Hatem. 'Many children have died. There is a...Continue reading
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