by John J. Metzler
Weirs Times Contributing Writer
UNITED NATIONS – It’ s not often a senior UN official leaves a prepared and rigid script to emotionally describe a situation to delegates in the Security Council. But when Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien told diplomats, “I am more or less at my wit’s end as a human being” in describing and cataloguing the horrors of Syria’s civl war, he was stating the painful truth.
As this column has stressed on many occasions, Syria has descended into Dante’s Inferno. During more than five years of conflict, 500,000 people have been killed and millions rendered homeless or displaced as refugees. The ongoing Syrian conflict has been viewed by many with shameful indifference. Echoes of Bosnia a generation ago.
Aleppo, and the ongoing siege by Assad government forces remains the epicenter of the conflict; this proud once thriving city has been reduced to swaths of rubble, a jagged patchwork of control by terrorist factions, regime loyalists, and militias. Starvation stalks the land while regime helicopters indiscriminately drop hideous “barrel bombs” and Russian jets pound presumably rebel positions. UN humanitarian aid waits in suspended animation as shells fall.
“Humanitarian conditions in eastern Aleppo have gone from terrible to terrifying and now barely survivable by human beings,” Stephen O’Brien asserted. There’s limited food and medicine for a beleaguered civilian population caught in the crossfire. He called on countries to use their influence to “put an end to the slaughterhouse that is Aleppo,” and to allow humanitarian access. Continue reading