'We live a daily holocaust in Aleppo,' says Brita Haj Hassan

Aleppo mayor describes ‘holocaust’ in plea for world help

6-year-old Amina blames Assad for killing her brothers, as bombs fall and troops advance through city

Six-year-old Amina in Aleppo blames Bashar Assad for killing her brothers (Screen capture: YouTube)
Six-year-old Amina in Aleppo blames Bashar Assad for killing her brothers (Screen capture: YouTube)

The mayor of Syria’s war-torn Aleppo on Thursday decried the inaction of the international community, describing the intense bombing campaign by the Syrian and Russian militaries in the city as a “holocaust.”

Brita Haj Hassan told Sky News that his is “the most dangerous city in the world.”

“We live a daily holocaust in Aleppo. Aleppo is burning every day,” he said in a video interview. “The international community is just watching and doing nothing.”

An airstrike hit the biggest market on the rebel-held side of Aleppo on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and leveling buildings as rescuers were still sifting through the rubble from air raids that killed dozens the day before.

Activists said the early-afternoon strike destroyed several shops in the besieged eastern part of the city, which has been the target of a massive Russian-backed Syrian offensive since the collapse of a ceasefire last month.

Six-year-old Amina was playing hopscotch in the street when a bomb killed her brothers. She told Sky that President Bashar Assad is responsible. With both hands bandaged, covered in blood, she said: “He has bombs. He hurt all the families.”

The latest strikes shattered a relative three-day lull in the area, where hospitals, underground shelters and buildings had been targeted for weeks.

On Tuesday, Russian or Syrian aircraft bombed several neighborhoods, killing at least 41 people, including five children, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, a group of volunteer first responders, and the activist-run Aleppo Media Center. Both groups said 15 people were killed in Wednesday’s strike.

Dr. Farida, a gynecologist whose clinic is in the market, said it was not clear what the aircraft were targeting.

“Many stores totally disappeared. I can’t find a trace of a mini-market I used to buy things from,” she said, asking that her last name not be published because of security concerns. She said at least five buildings have been destroyed.

“The destruction is horrible,” she said. “The rubble has piled up and the roads are cut.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that at least 358 civilians had been killed in eastern Aleppo since the US- and Russian-brokered truce collapsed on September 19. The UN says over 100 children have been killed in the campaign, which has also included a limited ground offensive.

The UN Security Council remains deadlocked over how to respond to the Aleppo crisis.

The US and Russia have failed to reach an agreement on renewing the short-lived cease-fire. International aid groups and UN agencies have appealed for a halt to the violence to allow aid into the besieged territory. No assistance has entered Aleppo since July, while hospitals, medical facilities and rescue vehicles have all come under attack.

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