SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Officials from Turkey and Moscow announced the formal cessation of hostilities in war-ravaged Aleppo on Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday morning, “civilians and moderate rebels with light weapons” will have safe escort to the Idlib province, Turkish sources said. Russia’s U.N. ambassador also confirmed that military actions in the region had ended. Despite the welcome news, countless families have said they will not flee, rejecting displacement in favor of remaining at peril to rebuild the ruins of their home. Leaders in Moscow assured the world that these civilians would also be evacuated safely by Russian troops, the guarantors of the truce. In a deal struck with an American small business late Monday evening, Russia will gain access to “personal storage and relocation vessels” provided by BasketCase, a manufacturer of discount caskets.
Assad’s Uncompromising Defeat of Women, Children and Pathetically Armed RebelsThe brutal civil war in Syria turned from siege to slaughter this week as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government-led forces rampaged through eastern Aleppo to reclaim districts seized by rebels, with reports of summary executions and extrajudicial killings. At least 82 civilians perished during the most recent massacre, including 11 women and 13 children. Regime forces have been backed by Iranian and Iraqi militias.
“We appear to be witnessing nothing less than ... a total uncompromising military victory,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.
Media coverage of the conflict has concentrated largely on the devastation of Aleppo and the tragic loss of civilian lives. The intense fighting has spanned years and taken heavy tolls, particularly on the militaries of Russia and Syria. Annihilating neighborhoods, sniping poorly armed rebels, razing hospitals, firebombing schools and around-the-clock airstrikes have left hundreds of soldiers exhausted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, ally of Syria’s dictator, unilaterally declared a 10-hour “humanitarian pause” in airstrikes last month. The temporary cease-fire took place between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4. Putin admitted that after destroying scores of hospitals and schools filled with children, his troops had reached their breaking points. “We’re going to need a good 10-hour pause to give our boys a rest so they can start slaughtering innocents fresh on Saturday,” he explained at the time.
Representatives for the Assad regime agreed with Russia, calling the war effort a great deal of work, involving sleepless nights and a lot of stress on military personnel. Pathetically armed men on the streets are easy to spot. Women and children, government spokespeople said, tend to obscure themselves in educational facilities, religious buildings and hospitals. That demands a greater effort.
A Passage to IdlibAleppo, once Syria’s bustling center of commerce, offered years of resistance to Assad’s ranks. Recapturing the largest city in the country required a strategic campaign to whittle down the opposition and prevent new uprisings by potential rebels.
“Most of the true Syrians enlisted to serve their government,” one Assad representative stated. “The people left in Aleppo, it was hard to tell. So, we just started blowing everyone up. So many people. Women, you know, they can have children who grow up to be rebels. Some of the young adults in Aleppo may have considered joining the resistance. Because Aleppo is the most populous city in Syria, it took us four years to break through that human shield.”
Now that the region appears to have fallen, al-Assad has earned a decisive victory that global watchdogs hope will spell a permanent end to the violence and strife. Syrian officials, in cooperation with Russian military personnel, expect to clear Aleppo of its remaining undesirables before year’s end. Those dissidents include Yazidi, other minorities and, interestingly, Syrians who just disagree with al-Assad. These civilians may seek refuge in the Idlib province.
The refugees, Turkish officials remarked, will be easily identified by troops. On average, they are emaciated, barely clothed, thirsty, sad, alone and covered in months of debris. Many will bear disfigurements, horrifying scars or even fresh wounds.
“If they can drag their broken, limbless bodies to Idlib and cross the border on the bloodied stumps of what used to be their legs, they will be free to relocate,” he clarified. Yet as part of the peaceful transition process, he also pledged the safe passage of Aleppo’s remaining holdouts.
Philanthropic American Small Business Emerges to Help AleppoThe question for concerned United Nations members, relief organizations and human rights advocates involves the transfer of civilians who are unwilling to evacuate Aleppo voluntarily.
“Beyond the relocation accord, we have also reached a deal with a U.S. retailer which will provide us with thousands of personal storage and relocation vessels at a tremendously discounted bulk rate,” a Russian aide for Putin told the press. “A place called BasketCase or CasketBase, I believe. They are sending boxes used in America to carry bodies that need to relocate but won’t do so on their own. The boxes are very nice. They have a bed in them, are lined and cushioned, and they keep the person inside safe -- even when buried under the earth.”
Walmart had presented a proposal for its own line of products, but the cheapest casket priced in at around $995 USD. BasketCase, expressing its concern for the “rabble in Aleppo,” committed to a cost of $115 USD per box. Financial documents disclosed by BasketCase during the bidding period also revealed Trump as an investor. Because the company is independently owned, Trump’s advisers denied a conflict of interest.
Putin’s aide said that any government opponents left in Aleppo, whether civilian or rebel, will be offered a second opportunity to relocate on their own volition. Failing that, Russian troops will assist with their “checkout” process. After, the individuals will be secured in the boxes and sent to Idlib.
“Traditionally, the vessels would be carried in limousines, but because of the sheer number of boxes, we must use military transports,” the aide added. “We are also affixing identification tags to their toes so that loved ones who moved without the need of facilitation may claim them when they reach their final destination. In this manner, we can guarantee that all civilians fleeing Aleppo will arrive in their new home without haste or continued bloodshed.”
Trump Praises Aleppo ArrangementPresident-elect Donald Trump, gushing over Putin’s triumph, praised the agreement.
“Government is by the people, for the people,” he said in a statement to the press. “All about the people. Tremendous people. People elect their leaders, like they did with Assad. Like people do in America, too. Well, about 300 people, who speak on behalf of all the other people. But people who don’t support the government, elected by the people, they aren’t really people then, are they? They’re not citizens if they oppose the government people voted for. They’re like illegal aliens at that point and they need to leave or be removed. Assad did the right thing. Russia did the right thing. An American small business owner did the right thing. It’s exactly what I would do in that same situation.”
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