As the genocide (and that is exactly what it is — genocide) in Syria continues to unfold at a level worse than ever before, thousands of people in neighboring Turkey protested at the Cilvegozu gate on the Turkish side of the border. The location wasn’t at all by chance — Cilvegozu has become a key transport point for those crossing in and out of Aleppo to provide aid and evacuate the wounded.
More than 1500 aid trucks and thousands of civilian cars amassed about three kilometers from the border crossing as crowds condemned Iran for its betrayal of the Syrian people throughout the conflict, shouting, “Iran will have to defend its actions in front of the ummah!” Many protesters directed their anger at Russia, chanting “Murderer Russia, get out of Syria!” The Russians have openly helped the Assad regime slaughter its own people in addition to blocking any United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a truce.
Other protestors carried large banners reading, “Aleppo cannot be left under bombardment.” Speaking to AFP, a young female protestor named Kubra, echoed the sentiment, saying, “God willing, we will not leave our brothers to the hands of the tyrants.”
A Turkish Muslim charity, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), which consists of mostly conservatives, has been pushing for sending more aid and increasing border access for some time now. It made this specific call to action, especially in light of the news that the Assad regime has almost completely overtaken rebel-held Eastern Aleppo.
Though a ceasefire was reached earlier this week in order to allow evacuations of the city, the peace was broken and the evacuations halted, leaving anywhere from 15,000 to 40,000 civilians trapped inside the demolished city. A new ceasefire to allow evacuations to resume was announced early Saturday, but it is unclear how long the fragile deal will hold.