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Syrian crisis: Children burn tires in besieged Aleppo ‘to create no-fly zones’

Children in Aleppo with a pile of burning tyres behind them

Syrian children in the besieged area of Aleppo have been burning old tires in an attempt to form no-fly zones over their homes, it has been claimed.

Footage released by pro-rebel news agency Halab News Network shows young boys in the besieged rebel areas collecting tires and burning them to form a smoke screen in the hope of deterring war planes.

As the boys gather tires and set them ablaze they can be heard chanting and singing what are reportedly victory songs to display their courage and unity.

According to reports the children have been burning tires not only to deter war planes but also to send out a message to inform the world of their plight.

Yasser Al-rahil, journalist and member of the Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office, told The Independent: “Children in the city of Aleppo and its countryside have been burning tyres in attempt to relieve air strikes by obscuring the vision of [Syrian government] and the Russian war planes.

“It is also to send a message to the world that not enough is being done to stop the criminality and warplanes.”

Rebel-held parts of Aleppo have been heavily bombarded by Syrian government forces in recent weeks.

According to Syrian state news agency SANA, twenty civilians have been slain and dozens wounded since 31 July in shelling fire by Syrian rebels trying to break up the government siege of the rebel-held part of the city.

Up to a quarter of a million civilians are living in the opposition-controlled neighborhoods in the east of Aleppo, which have been under siege since the army and allied militia cut off the last road into rebel districts in early July.

Forces loyal to the Syrian government seized control of the last road into the largely rebel-held city in recent weeks, cutting off supplies of food and leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk of death and starvation, sparking concerns of a humanitarian crisis.

Save the Children has described the situation as “scandalous”, warning that “international credibility is on the line”, while the UN has described the situation in Syria as both “medieval and shameful”.

David Milliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), has said there is “unspeakable humanitarian abuse” taking place.

Aleppo city has been divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east since 2012.



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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field