Vanessa Beeley, who accompanied the US Peace Council Fact Finding Delegation to Syria, went back to report on the unfolding crisis in Aleppo. At the time we left Syria, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had cut off the supply road from Turkey that the militants were using to acquire weapons, additional manpower and cash as well as necessities for civilians and fighters alike. Ali Haidar, Minister of Reconciliation and his staff were planning to go to Aleppo to assess next steps. The Russians were air dropping food and medical supplies and the Humanitarian Corridors had opened though the militants were targeting people who attempted to use them.
Shortly thereafter, thousands of militants, mostly Al Nusra/Al Qaeda fighters stormed a military school on the road leading to the south (towards Damascus) out of Aleppo where the SAA had weapons stored. They overran the few hundred SAA guarding the site. Since then there has been major fighting both north and south of Aleppo, directly affecting the civilian populations of both East and West Aleppo. Especially in the government held area of West Aleppo, power and water have become scarce and a humanitarian crisis has emerged.
We asked Vanessa for an update on these circumstances and this is what she said:
As i mentioned our visit was cut short by 24 hours maybe because they were worried that the Castello road to the north might close again, not sure. Day before yesterday 2 suicide bomber vehicles were intercepted by air to ground missiles inside the northern perimeter of the western area of Aleppo.
Terrorist hell cannon activity has increased in response to the Russian and Syrian strikes particularly in the Ramousie area which is where the terrorists claim to have taken ground. (Unfortunately, they did) The reports from inside Aleppo tell us the opposite, that the SAA lured terrorists out into the open before deploying air strikes which wiped out over 2000 terrorists.
Terrorists used chemical weapons in an attack on the old city on the 2nd August. 4 died including one REAL Syrian Civil Defense worker [not the fake White Helmets] and 25 women were affected by the toxic gas…described to be similar to Chlorine or Mustard.
As we were leaving today we saw a huge number of fuel tankers driving into Aleppo. The government has sent 5 times more than usual to alleviate the fuel shortages that have been making life miserable in Aleppo. We saw the mile long queues of cars waiting to fill up every morning.
The first night we had in Aleppo we were less than 1km from the front lines and heard intensive Russian bombing all night and day. Unfortunately we also heard return fire from the terrorists shelling the areas around where we were staying. We have been told that 2000 civilians have managed to leave Eastern Aleppo via the famous humanitarian corridors and are now receiving medical and psychological assistance, shelter food etc.
Many others have been prevented from leaving by terrorists or shot/murdered while trying to leave.
143 civilians in Aleppo have been killed by terrorist hell cannon mortar fire since 1.8.2016. including 54 children and 23 women.
We were fortunate to be able to give blood while we were in Aleppo. Its not much as recompense for the blood of Syrians spilled by our governments but we felt duty bound to do so.
The hospitals that are being targeted and of course amplified by the Mainstream Media are all terrorist occupied. The 15 doctors who wrote to Obama are ALL members of SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society) and from Michigan [Syrians] Their salaries are being paid by the Gulf States. [The names are all nom de guerre and some are actually the names of well known ISIS Emirs]
There are 3 main hospitals in Aleppo, 7 private health centres where treatment of terrorists takes priority over civilians. The top floors of these hospitals are sniping towers.
The figures stating 43 hospitals in various main stream media outlets are downright lies. We took out information from the Aleppo Medical Association.
There are 200-220k people in Eastern Aleppo. 150k are civilians, many without shelter, food or work as the terrorists took over their homes. The rest are all terrorists and their families.
We met with Dr Nabil Antaki last night who stated clearly that this is crunch time. If the SAA loses Aleppo we will see a repeat of Mosul, Iraq as Islamists flood western Aleppo. The consequences are too dreadful to contemplate.
That’s all for now as am exhausted today, it was a 7 hour dusty and tense journey back, never more than a few kilometres from terrorist positions or sniper areas.
To read more of Vanessa Beeley’s experiences in Syria and Aleppo and her analysis, here are some links: