The northern Syrian city of Aleppo has been witnessing the most relentless and indiscriminate aerial bombardment since the peaceful revolution metastasised into a bloody conflict. A twisted discourse has been recently widespread on the media to claim that Syrian, Russian and Iranian militants have been “saving the lives” of besieged civilians by arranging an evacuation out of the encircled eastern part of Aleppo. It is important not to use erroneous description when reporting on these evacuations: civilians have been actually forcefully displaced out of their homes, after having bore the burden of the scarcity of food and lack of medial care.
Syrian peace-building activists have been closely following the developments, be it from inside the city or from neighboring countries. Many of our partners have solemnly announced their solidarity in different ways; while some have declared suspending their operational activities in Turkey in solidarity with civilians in Aleppo, others have been continuously exerting pressure on key conflict players to stop the atrocities.
Women Now for Development, a non-governmental organization that works from within Syria and also from Turkey, Lebanon, and France, cooperates with grassroots organizations, civil society activists, international NGOs, and other partners to consolidate women’s roles in Syrian communities by enhancing their social, economic and cultural participation. In their recently released statement, Women Now announced suspending its activities in Turkey, yet it “will of course continue our work inside Syria, as it is most needed in these dire times.” They have also called the international community to facilitate a ceasefire and safe evacuation for besieges civilians, as well as providing “immediate access to life-saving assistance”.
The Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD) has also been launching an online campaign in solidarity with civilians in Aleppo. The Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria is an independent Syrian center that seeks to support and strengthen civil society and democracy and promote the values of freedom, justice and coexistence, and operates inside Syria and from Turkey. CCSD released a series of humanitarian appeals – nine in total until now – to give a voice for civilians by sharing “Stories from Aleppo” with the readers including a call for action. Read the stories of Ziad, Leila, Abood, Abdalkader, Samah, among others, and share them widely with your network! The appeals also calls on the readers to contact the Russian and Iranian embassies in their countries, and exert pressure on them to respond to these urgent asks.
84 Syrian grassroots organizations have also made a joint call for solidarity with civilians in Aleppo, urging all parties involved in the conflict to seize the wave of militarized violence that has swept the city, provide urgent and immediate assistance to the civilians, and warning against the growing trend of forced displacement that the Syrian regime across different cities in the country.