Aleppo, the city that has survived two years of Assad’s barrel bombs, is now being brought to its knees by thirst. But this time, the direct culprit is not the regime.
Activists have pointed the finger at radical Islamist opposition militias, specifically al-Nusra Front—an al-Qaeda-linked group that has attempted to impose its own Islamic interpretation on Syrians under the guise of the revolution— that are in control of Aleppo’s main water pumping station. They are accused of refusing to allow water to be pumped to the city as a way of putting pressure on regime-controlled areas with utter disregard to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the town.
Despite being military par excellence, Turkish presence has been widely welcomed by different segments of Syrian society in Idlib countryside and the Euphrates Shield areas, north of Aleppo. The reason for that being its contribution, for the first time since the outbreak of the uprising almost seven years ago, to improving the living conditions of said areas at several levels.
Their presence is renowned but rarely witnessed. You hear a lot about their role in the news and from friends who witnessed the tragedies they have caused in the country. Yet regardless of where you stand politically, the mixed feelings they evoke in you as a civilian in Syria are still ambiguous: Russian soldiers.
Perspectives on the Russian soldiers in Al-Waer neighborhood, west of Homs, vary between welcoming them on the one hand, judging by their good treatment of residents compared to the regime’s soldiers and allied Shiite militants, and the absolute rejection of their presence on the other.