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Prioritizing Civilian Protection Previous Syria Research Study Next

In the summer of 2016, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stepped up its attacks on rebel forces and Syrian civilians, this time besieging the ancient city of Aleppo. In Syria’s largest city, territory had been divided between government control in the west and opposition control in the east. The government surrounded the eastern part of the city, indiscriminately bombing the residents and systematically blocking delivery of food and medical supplies.

The main roadway in or out, Castello Road, became a harrowing passage dotted with burned out cars and permeated by the smell of death. Anyone attempting to enter or leave faced attack.

Cut off from outside assistance, the 300,000 desperate residents in Aleppo, including 120,000 children, lived largely without food, water, medical supplies or electricity. They faced daily, deadly attacks and, potentially, starvation.

This exhibit, currently available to Museum visitors in our Wexner Center, tells the story of life under siege and chronicles the efforts of some of those trying to assist.

Many organizations are working to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians and to protect the medical personnel trying to treat them. We are grateful for the assistance of the following in the production of this video:

Special thanks to Mahmoud Rashwani and the Aleppo Media Center for providing photos and video footage.


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