The last few months of the Syrian Civil War have been some of the worst for Aleppo, Syria. The Syrian and Russian governments have taken some of the most inhumane actions against rebel-held eastern Aleppo. As statements claiming the war may finally be coming to a close have surfaced, the once vibrant and peaceful city is now in ruins, and human suffering lies at its very core.

The history of Aleppo

Aleppo was announced as a World Heritage Site in 1986.

It is Syria’s largest city and one of the most ancient metropolis’ in the world. Its existence was stated in Mesopotamian and Ebla cuneiform tablets, indicating that it may have been established prior to the 3rd millennium BC. According to UNESCO.org, for centuries it had been ruled by the Hittites, Assyrians, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes and Ottomans. UNESCO also states that "The 13th-century citadel, 12th-century Great Mosque and various 17th-century madrasas, palaces, caravanserais and hammams all form part of the city's cohesive, unique urban fabric.” Yet, the almost six-year Syrian Civil War has caused a massive amount of destruction to the historical city.

Many of Aleppo’s historic sites have been burned to ashes, including Al-Madina Souq, a hundred-year-old trading market. The city has transformed from a once industrial and financial epicenter to a refugee crisis epicenter.

Civil War in Syria

The war began in 2011 after people started uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime. It started out as anti-Assad protests and led to a full-blown Syrian Civil War.

In the summer of 2012, rebels began their attempts to gain control over Northern Syria, eventually dividing Aleppo into two parts: the rebel-held east and the government-held west.

Each day, war crimes such as murder, torture, and rape occur as the Syrian government attempts to gain control over Aleppo. Government aircraft have dropped bombs on the rebel-held districts that have killed many and destroyed hospitals, homes, and rescue shelters.

Videos and photographs have gone viral over social media of young children being gassed, bombed, and being pulled, lifeless, from the rubble. Since the beginning of the war, nearly five million people have fled Syria, mostly into neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, but also to the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and other European countries. Nearly half a million people have died since the beginning of the war.

If they’re not dying from war, they’re dying from unlivable conditions as Eastern Aleppo has now been barricaded, making it nearly impossible to flee the turmoil.

Each day, new atrocities are occurring in Syria, which is causing extreme humanitarian concerns. It's hard to believe that this now destroyed, ancient, and beautiful part of history was once a peaceful, safe city filled with tourists.

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