Every time a massacre happens, we say “never again”. Now, “never again” is happening in Aleppo, as I write.
The government’s operation to recapture the rebel-held eastern part of the city is in its final stages and reports of atrocities are coming in.
The Syrian army is reportedly going from house to house and executing residents on the spot. At least 82 civilians, including women and children, were shot on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Residents fear summary executions, forced disappearances, torture, and rape – a grim litany of war crimes. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime and the Russian government are ignoring calls for the safe passage of civilians from war-torn Aleppo, as more than 100,000 terrified people are still trapped inside the city.
If this story sounds familiar, that is because we have heard it before. We have seen it on the killing fields of Cambodia, the ghost towns of Iraqi Kurdistan poisoned by chemical weapons, in the faces of machete-wielding Rwandans, the sieges of Sarajevo and Srebrenica, and the desert death camps of Darfur.
“Never again,” the world pledged in the wake of these atrocities. And yet the same horrors are now being inflicted on the people of Aleppo and we are reacting with much the same carelessness.
We cannot say we did not know. We knew then and we know now. We can watch in real time how terrified residents post their final “goodbyes” on social media.
Read the full article on the Daily Telegraph’s website.