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Aleppo Protest_Dimitris_Lambridis-7
Photography Dimitris Lambridis

Vicious Aleppo attack sparks emergency demo in London

Protesters gathered to condemn the ‘complete meltdown of humanity’ as the death toll continues to rise over 400,000

The situation in Aleppo became critical yesterday as the Syrian army and pro-government militias reportedly executed civilians residing in the east of the city. Between 50,000-100,000 are now trapped in what little rebel-controlled territory is left.

In response, hundreds gathered on the streets of London last night to protest the treatment of families, women and children who were subjected to air strikes as it was reported that forces loyal to Assad had also entered homes and shot at least 82 people during their advance on the area.

The emergency protest in solidarity called for an immediate ceasefire and “the delivery of humanitarian aid by international organisations”. Crowds gathered outside Downing Street singing and chanting “Save Aleppo”. Similar protests took place outside the Russian embassy in Turkey. Russia continues to help Assad in his attack of citizens who oppose him.

After almost six years of fighting, Bashar al-Assad’s forces have taken back most of Aleppo, which has become the epicentre of the civil war. Assad is the current president of Syria who remains unwilling to relinquish control after democratic pressures, and now an outbreak of civil war. According to The Independent, residents fear they will be detained, tortured and killed for resisting the regime – many of them are activists, humanitarian workers, doctors and teachers.

“Anyone who knows anything about the Assad regime should know what to expect. Death will be a wish for those captured and deemed (to be) opposition, weather (sic) military or civil,” one resident wrote in a Whatsapp message to journalists.

Heartbreaking images and tweets streamed in on Tuesday morning during what the UN called a “complete meltdown of humanity”. One from 7-year-old Bana Alabed’s account read: “My name is Bana, I’m 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die. - Bana”. Her account has drawn attention to the dire situation families have been facing in the wake of the conflict.

It was briefly agreed that there would be a ceasefire and that residents would be evacuated but the Syrian army has since resumed bombardment. Associated Press have reported that buses meant to take rebels and civilians out of Aleppo have returned to depots, signalling the collapse of the truce deal.

While journalists and activists continue to use social media to shed light on what is going on in the region, organisers of last night’s protest urged people to write to their MPs, sign the parliamentary petition for humanitarian aid and support the refugee effort. 

Another protest is expected to take place at Marble Arch in London this Saturday.