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Monday, December 5, 2016

Aleppo's death crisis

Aleppo -- They're running out of room to bury the dead in Aleppo, the city that Gary Johnson thought was an acronym for perhaps something like: American Libertarians Excellent Pot Planting Organization. The old cemetery is filled to the top and the new one maxed out last week. The dead are being buried in backyards, stacked up in morgues and some are even left in the streets.

Finally, medical officials secured another area for the dead but they don't have a way to dig the graves with all the fighting taking place. Civilians are fleeing for their lives as government troops square off with opposition-held eastern Aleppo as they find themselves relocating in smaller and smaller "safe" areas.

"We have no more room," said Mohammed (did you guess that?) Abu Jaafar. He's the head of the local authority and named after the head of this religion that started this mess. He said that his department is so overwhelmed that his staff is begging him not to take any more bodies.

What to do?

"Even if I were to consider mass burials," Mo began, "I don't have the machines to do the digging."

Government forces have been bombarding the area for two weeks. Over 300 civilians, including 42 children and as many as 220 opposition fighters have died, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization modeled after the Obama administration: they just watch and do nothing.

Last weekend, ground troops stormed the enclave, capturing about half the 17-square-mile area and moved in on the remainder. Stephen O'Brien Coordinator of the UN Emergency Relief begged for access to eastern Aleppo "before it becomes one giant graveyard."

Bodies are on the street, left to rot as ambulances and other vehicles cannot reach them--they are either targeted or have run out of gas. Pets that once belonged to the dead can be seen eating at the corpses in some areas.

Hospitals are evacuated as doctors set up underground medical points to avoid detection; they can only give simple, basic care. Some victims die waiting and from lack of blood supply.

"Every wounded is a potential martyr," said Zakaria Amino, deputy head of the eastern Aleppo Local Council. Even Zak sees the dead as martyrs, as religious victims.

Over 20,000 Aleppo residents have been killed in the past 4 years.

Not one of the religious leaders on either side are calling for an end to the fighting. That seems to be the same situation across the globe with the so-called 'religion of peace.'