Falling Further Faster
(Part of The Darkness Visible post)
Since about midday Wednesday the Syrian military has been shelling the city of Aleppo with greater ferocity than has been seen since the standoff began. Jets have been dropping bombs nonstop for nearly a day now as their target range from Aleppo to towns north of the city. Artillery's deafening roar has not stopped since Assad ordered his hellish assault. And the tactics being reported are nothing short of barbaric.
Carving a crescent shape behind the civilian neighborhoods the bombings are being used to pin the innocent in while the army attacks head on. Helicopters are being used to patrol any routes of escape while the shabiha roam the rebel flanks. Every living soul in Aleppo seems to be the target.
What information is coming out of Aleppo lends itself to a massacre larger than any seen as of yet in this 17 month rebellion. The use of jets to bomb from the air has made it harder for innocent civilians to escape the barrage of artillery and tank fire. Machine gun fire erupts on the streets leading north out of Aleppo whenever people are seen trying to flee. It appears that Assad will hold to his promise to burn Aleppo to the ground. And he may be making sure that nobody will get out alive.
Of the original 3 million citizens there is an estimated 2.5 million still trapped in the city and its outlying neighborhoods. Most have been without running water or electricity since Assad's siege of the city began. All have been having a hard time trying to find food. And nearly everyone has been under the regime guns for the last 24 hours.
News agencies are reporting that Assad's forces have taken at least one of the key neighborhoods and are pushing toward the north side of the city. We are also hearing that Assad's regime is threatening to use "unconventional" weapons to win the fight in Aleppo. These weapons could include chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. On the lighter side of the spectrum Assad could also be referring to napalm or high explosives to level larger areas of the city. In any case the dense population in the neighborhoods of Aleppo would spike the death toll sky high if Assad gets even more desperate.
In previous weeks Assad has threatened to use chemical and biological weapons on foreign troops if any nation or the UN tries to intervene. It appears now that the ever more desperate situation of the regime is pushing the use of these weapons closer to reality. Yet the West continues to only worry about the use of these weapons on their troops and against their interest. Apparently the helpless citizens trapped in Aleppo are not a Western interest.
On the rebel side of the battle news has come forward that the Syrian rebels have killed a Russian general who was working with the Syrian army in Damascus. The Syrian rebels produced his military id and several other sources of identification in addition to video of his body. In response the Russians have produced a man on video in Moscow who claims to be the dead general. The flaw in the Russian video is the fact the man in the video was told from a man behind the camera what to say... including his own name... and stumbled through the scripted video. In addition to not knowing who he was supposed to be, the Russian puppet also didn't look anything like the dead general in Syria.
So as I have suspected all along, Russia is doing more than just providing Assad the weapons, helicopters, tanks, and ammunition to kill his own people with. Putin's interest in keeping Syria oppressed has brought Russian military leaders to the battle field where they are reported to be directing the Syrian offenses. And yet despite an invested interest in the battle for Syria, Russia continues to be allowed to vote on the issue in the UN.
For now we still are forced to wait to see what is really happening in Aleppo as the rebels fight on against ever growing odds. So for now we will pray for the safety of those innocent civilians now trapped in the crossfire. May G-d have mercy on them seeing as how Assad will not.