By Melissa Starr (Global News Editor).
The Syrian city of Aleppo is in ruins, and over 200,000 people are stranded with little resources within it as a result of the ongoing Syrian Civil War between the authoritarian Syrian regime and rebel organizations who oppose the government.
As forerunners in technological and cultural development, America is said to have an obligation to bring humanitarian aid to countries that need it most. However, it is very hard to get resources into the city to help relief efforts for the destruction to civilians, especially in the east side of the city. Prior to the war, Aleppo was Syria’s most populous city, but now it is in complete ruin, littered by collapsed and crumbling buildings.
According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, “Humanitarian access to the estimated 250,000 to 275,000 civilians trapped in the eastern part of the city has been cut off since early July.” The eastern side of the city is the side controlled by groups of oppositionists, which is being targeted for countless airstrikes by the Syrian and Russian government.
Rebel retaliation is minimal, the western government controlled part of the city is frequented with the opposition’s makeshift explosives. So, what can America do to help?
Senior Phoebe McAlevey says that America has a duty to help Aleppo to get humanitarian resources into the city to civilians who need it, because “[America] have involved themselves in so many foreign affairs and caused so many global conflicts” and “[America is] not helping as much as they should.” However, McAlevey also understands the complications of getting into Aleppo in the first place.
“Because of some political barriers, it’s not always easy as people think it is to help,” McAlevey said.
On the other hand, Junior Marckendy Paul believes that since America sends aid to many other countries, Syria is no different, especially because America has involved themselves so heavily in the Middle East both in the past and now. He says, “We can’t just back out when things get tough. I think if we use our resources and dedicate ourselves to getting in there we should be able to do it. We have done more challenging tasks to get into places in the Middle East, I think we could easily do this if we really wanted to.”
Sophomore Sara Molla agrees that America is liable to countries in need, because America has access to so many resources and has control on the World’s Stage.
“As human beings, it’s our responsibility to help other human beings. We should try and compromise with the Syrian Government, a peaceful compromise, it’s worth a try,” Molla stated.
It is obvious that America should be doing more than we currently are to send aid to the civilians in peril, but it’s hard to say to what extent America should interfere in the Syrian Civil War, given the history America has had impeding on other foreign affairs. SHS history department teacher and coordinator Mr. Fazzio says he “stop[s] short when we’re talking about putting troops on the ground,” though America should be doing more to provide humanitarian aid and economic support.
“Unless this country is willing to have a draft where every man, woman, and child is available for the draft, I would oppose putting military on the ground [in Aleppo],” he stated.
If nothing else, more information about what is going on in Aleppo and news of the Syrian Civil War should be more widely released to the American public; recently, Donald Trump and Gary Johnson, both presidential candidates, have been publically clueless about the devastation going on in the country. Johnson couldn’t even identify the city of Aleppo as being a target for destruction by Syrian and Russian governments.
As a country so widely known for its endeavors to end inequality and provide the rest of the world with help in doing so, America has a commitment to Aleppo to provide aid; however, America also needs to make it a necessity to keep its citizens informed of what is going on outside our borders.