By WENDY PARKULO / Staff Writer
Just a week after it began, the ceasefire in Syria has ended and bombings and raids on Aleppo have resumed. Moscow and Damascus are attempting to recapture the rebel-held portion of the city in what could be the largest battle of a nearly six year, ongoing war. Both the United States and the European Union are criticizing Russia and Syria for skirting around diplomacy by killing and endangering civilians for military gain. However, Syria denies these accusations. The United States is progressively becoming frustrated with futile peace talks and is threatening to end them.
John Kerry commented on the situation at a public policy conference in Washington D.C. saying, “We are on the verge of suspending the discussion because it is irrational in the context of the kind of bombing taking place to be sitting there trying to take things seriously… It is one of those moments where we are going to have to pursue other alternatives.” If the United States wants to aid in stopping the terror for Aleppo citizens they must come up with these “other alternatives” as soon as possible.
This situation is also severely complicating efforts to launch the Joint Implementation Center – which was to be a base for U.S. and Russian forces to collaborate together in order to collectively act against extremist groups in Syria. The establishment of the center has been dependent on the termination of conflict between Syria and Russia and the extremists. With that now seemingly out of the picture it is unlikely that the Center will be able to be formed and the United States may cease all involvement in the Syrian conflict. This failure of the formation of a peace deal has resulted in some of the worst violence this conflict has witnessed. According to Raed al-Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, an unarmed civilian rescue organization in Syria, as of September 28th, “In the past eight days Aleppo has seen 1,000 deaths, 1,700 airstrikes (19 of them using bunker buster bombs and 200 with cluster munitions), a declaration that the hospitals can’t take new patients and the realization that only 30 doctors remain in the city to treat the wounded.” The future does not look bright for those still living in Aleppo as food supplies and medical expertise are becoming increasingly hard to come by. If peace talks are not resumed, it could prove more and more disastrous for the innocent citizens of Aleppo.