– JRS – Jesuiten-Flüchtlingsdienst

Tony Calleja SJ in Wien

“On Wednesday, September 21, Aleppo has witnessed a military escalation from both sides, the flights and the mortar shells have been heard in most areas in Aleppo. Although the previous route (Aleppo-Damascus) has been reopened, people are still suffering from the high prices for the most food items, so they can hardly provide the necessary ones for their families. There is a difficulty also in providing Diesel as winter approaches.
The security situation has seriously deteriorated in the last couple of months, only interrupted by local truces of few days.

The Eastern part (held by rebels) is by far the most affected but the Western part (controlled by the Government) has also received some shelling. In rebel areas the shelling from the Syrian Government and Russian forces has been uninterrupted, day and night, with women and children being killed every day and dozens more being severely injured. The bombing has destroyed basic civil infrastructure such as schools, churches, etc. and the Syrian Government is expressly targeting hospitals, leading to more deaths and desolation. In the eastern part people are almost entirely cut off from vital supplies, including medicines, food, water, etc. since over a month.

There has been a lot of internal displacement going on in the last months in Aleppo. In the western part JRS team has witnessed displacement in the areas of Al-Midan, Al-Ashrafieh, Al-Khalidieh, Al-Hamdanieh, Al-A’zamieh, etc.
Prices are soaring of all basic goods, including food, are soaring. This means that even when goods are available (which is the case in the western part), people cannot access them.
Regular interruptions and shortages of electricity and water affect everyone including schools and hospitals. The price of electricity has risen to 1,200 SYP / ampere / week. JRS projects had to close for few days because of the intensive shelling; in other instances the projects are running but the home visits had to be suspended, sometimes for several weeks, because the neighborhoods to be visited were too dangerous and/or inaccessible.”

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