Syrian Government Retakes Aleppo
Dec. 22, 2016
Syrian government forces have taken control of almost all of Aleppo, one of the main bases of anti-government forces in northern Syria. The year is about to end without a resolution in sight for one of the worst humanitarian crises.
The evacuation of the rebels and citizens from the city is nearly complete. It now appears that the Assad regime is one step closer to securing a military victory, but the civil war is far from over and people are dying.
Bana Alabed is a 7-year-old girl who until recently lived in Aleppo, where she became known for telling the world about the stark reality of life in the war-torn city -- including air raids, destruction, and the loss of friends.
"I have no medicine, no home, no clean water. This will make me die even before a bomb kill me," she wrote on Twitter after her home had been destroyed.
"Dear world, there's intense bombing right now. Why are you silent? Why? Why? Why?" she said in another message.
Her tweets stopped as fighting continued in pockets of the city, which made her followers fear for her safety. But on Monday, she tweeted that she managed to escape Aleppo.
"I'm sad, really sad. Because they're going to take our land. And we had to leave Aleppo," Alabed wrote.
The painful cry sent out over Twitter made the world wonder why a little girl like Bana was put in such situation, and when the tragedy will come to an end.
Terror Spreads Outside Syria
Although we do not know if they are directly related to the situation Syria, a number of tragic events have happened around the world in the past week alone.
In Berlin, a truck plowed into people shopping at a Christmas market on Monday evening, killing 12. The Islamic State militant group claimed that one of the militants carried out the attack.
In Jordan, a group of gunmen attacked police and took hostages at an ancient castle in Karak on Sunday, killing 10 people. The Islamic State group published a statement claiming responsibility.
In Turkey's capital, Ankara, Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot dead by an off-duty policeman on Monday. The assailant shouted "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!"
In the US, President Barack Obama expressed regret over the Syrian conflict.
"For years, we've worked to stop the civil war in Syria, and alleviate human suffering. It has been one of the hardest issues that I've faced as president," Obama said.
The upcoming change in leadership in the US is increasing uncertainty regarding geopolitics.
"Our goal is not to build new nations in far off lands that most of you have never heard of. But to crush ISIS, we have no choice -- and to defeat radical Islamic terrorism," said US President-elect Donald Trump.
Please click on the video above to watch a two-part interview with Koichiro Tanaka, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs at the Institute of Energy Economics Japan.