World View: Aleppo Bombings in ‘Humanitarian Pause’ as Residents Await Russia’s Death Blow

A man takes pictures of civilians lying down to take cover after hearing what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Jisr al-Hajj roundabout in Aleppo May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Russia’s warship fleet sails through English Channel to Syria
  • Russia extends ‘humanitarian pause’ in Aleppo Syria

Russia’s warship fleet sails through English Channel to Syria

Ghostly image of bombed out Aleppo (CNN)
Ghostly image of bombed out Aleppo (CNN)

Russia’s Northern Fleet, which Russian media describes as as “the most powerful Russian naval task force to sail in northern Europe since 2014,” will pass through the English Channel on Friday on its way to the eastern Mediterranean. It is believed that it will be used to deliver a massive blow to the hundreds of thousands of residents of Aleppo in Syria.

The fleet includes the flagship aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov. It also includes a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, Pyotr Velikiy, and two Udaloy Class Destroyers. The Admiral Kuznetsov itself is capable of carrying 50 war planes.

Russia already has about 10 ships off Syria, which have fired cruise missiles at targets in Syria.

Some fears of war have been expressed in European media because Russia is sending such a large fleet through UK territorial waters. However, it seems pretty clear that the fleet will simply continue traveling south, to be used with the intended objective of killing as many of the residents of Aleppo as possible.

Britain’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said,

When these ships near our waters we will man-mark them every step of the way. We will be watching as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe.

British and Norwegian ships and Swedish reconnaissance aircraft will be monitoring the Russian fleet with a view to gaining as much intelligence as possible. BBC and CNN and Russia Today

Russia extends ‘humanitarian pause’ in Aleppo Syria

When I was in college, one of the other kids kept a large snake in a glass cube in his room. I asked how he fed the snake. He said that once a month he’d put a live mouse into the cube. After a few days, the snake would eat the mouse. He told me that “in the meantime, the mouse would be a nervous wreck, because he knew what was going to happen.”

That must be how the hundreds of thousands of residents of Aleppo feel right now. Russia has extended its “humanitarian pause” on air strikes for an additional 24 hours, but everyone knows that once the “pause” ends, Russian and Syrian warplanes will resume their destruction of Aleppo, including hospitals and civilian neighborhoods, using barrel bombs, chemical weapons (chlorine gas), phosphorous bombs, cluster bombs and bunker bombs.

Russia has also announced that six corridors were opened for civilians who want to escape the impending slaughter.

This is presumably a use of another weapon of war by the Russians and Syrians – trying to create a new flood of hundreds of thousands more refugees, to add to the millions who are already flooding into neighboring countries and Europe. At any rate, it is believed that only a few hundred refugees have left Aleppo, for fear that they would be easy targets if they attempted to flee.

Some analysts have suggested that the purpose of the announcement of the “six corridors” is to be able to claim that the hundreds of thousands of civilians left in Aleppo, including women and children, must be “terrorists,” to be killed by Syrian and Russian warplanes.

However, there is a logical contradiction. Russian media is saying that the reason that civilians haven’t been fleeing Aleppo through the six corridors is because the terrorist rebels are telling them that they’ll be shot if they try to leave. This claim contradicts the claim that the only civilians left in Aleppo are “terrorists.”

At any rate, the Russian and Syrian destruction of Aleppo is expected to resume on Friday afternoon. Within a few more days, it’s expected to be followed even more massive destruction from the warplanes and cruise missiles delivered by the new Russian naval fleet headed for the eastern Mediterranean.

According to one analyst I heard, the plan is for the destruction of Aleppo to be complete on the day before the US presidential election. Washington Post and BBC and Russia Today

Related Articles

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Northern Fleet, Admiral Kuznetsov, English Channel, Britain, Michael Fallon, Syria, Aleppo, Bashar al-Assad
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail