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The aftermath of an airstrike in a rebel-held area of Aleppo, Sept. 24, 2016 (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets photo via AP).

The Annihilation of Aleppo

Friday, Sept. 30, 2016

If it is hard to grasp the scale of devastation in rebel-held Aleppo this week, given the past four years of bitter warfare in Syria’s largest city, consider this detail from Liz Sly and Louisa Loveluck’s reporting in The Washington Post. With no electricity, “families huddle together in the dark” at night, when the bombings are the worst, “gathered in one room so that they don’t die alone, listening to the roar of the jets and waiting for the bombs to fall.” Taking shelter on the lower floors of apartment buildings, “entire families sleep in one room, because they prefer to die together than to create orphans, widows or bereaved parents.”

Since the collapse last week of a flawed and short-lived cease-fire that was brokered by the United States and Russia, the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian jets, have attempted to retake the rebel-controlled eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo with unusually brutal force, even for this war. ...

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