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What’s Aleppo?

Ana R., Editor

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Gary Johnson received a lot of flack for asking what “Aleppo” was and we all joined in on that bandwagon to make fun of him. However, how many of us actually know the details of what’s happening? Or where it even is in the first place?

First off, Aleppo is a city in Syria, the capitol of the most populous Syrian governorate (Despite being a unitary state, it’s separated into 14 governorates for administration). The city and its citizens have been caught between the confrontation of the Syrian opposition and the Army of Conquest against the Syrian Armed forces of the Syrian Government. The civil war in Syria started in 2011 but continues today. Each group within the conflict has their own end in mind. The government is considered to be a semi-presidential state, although many beg to differ as they believe the power is too centralized on the current president, Bashar al-Assad. His stance is to quell the unjust and unreasonable rebellion. Russia fights with the Syrian government in an effort to maintain trade, sell arms, and bolster their military presence word wide. The opposition is a mix of different rebels, which include democratic proponents and jihadist rebels. The separation within the group weakens their attempts and undermines their goals. Additionally, other parties (the U.N., the U.S., France) try to stop the conflict to end the human rights violations which have transpired over the course of the civil war. Over 470,000 people have died for this war.

Specifically the city of Aleppo, the east and west are caught on the two sides. The east is the “rebel” side while the west is the “government’s” side. In all reality, the attacks don’t discriminate to the warring factions. Civilians live under constant bomb threats and shortages, significantly worse on the eastern side but truly devastating over all. The intricacies of the conflict are truly beyond the scope of a high school article but I’d recommend keeping up with the news. Casualties rise everyday and U.S. involvement seems more and more likely.

 

Now, why does any of this matter? How does the civil war of another country affect anyone here? First off, it should be enough to say that people are dying and suffering. Civilians, adults, children, teens, who don’t have any place in this, yet suffer anyways. Nowadays though, that doesn’t seem to matter much anymore. We need a reason to care. The U.S. has long since stationed itself as the police of the democratic world and should have invested interest in seeing the democratic side win. However, we’ve neglected to take up arms. One big reason is to not repeat the war in Afghanistan and to turn away from this self proclaimed position. A decreased U.S. presence in the world could seriously change foreign policy. Would we prefer to get caught up in other’s wars and attempt to help or to remain isolated and let things and people fall where they may? As citizens, it’s rather an important question that few of us will give the time to answer.

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The Independent Student Voice of LMHS.
What’s Aleppo?