Roy Gutman reports: Aleppo is under siege again. Once again, some 300,000 civilians in the rebel-held eastern part of the city must eke out their survival with no fresh produce and a dwindling food supply, in addition to the other perils of life for those in the Assad regime’s political opposition.
That means barrel bombs that destroy houses and bury their children, and missiles that destroy their schools, mosques, and hospitals.
The siege crept up almost without notice over the past 10 days, as the regime closed the Alramousa road, the sole supply route into the old town, first by intense bombing and then by targeted missile attacks just weeks after a surprise rebel offensive had opened it.
State television on August 27 showed a missile attack against vehicles traversing the road that it said were carrying “mercenaries and armed elements.” Two days later, rebel media activists reached the scene, where they found the body of driver Abdo Rawas splayed out on the road, alongside his destroyed truck and its cargo of fruits and vegetables. The activists couldn’t find the body of Adnan, Rawas’s 12-year-old son, who was driving with him. They fear he was incinerated in the attack, leaving no remains.
The siege of Aleppo, like any siege, will come to an end at some point, but the question is on what terms. If the other sieges against other rebel-held towns in Syria are any guide, the terms will be take it or leave it: Surrender or starve. [Continue reading…]