You'll likely have heard constant mentions of Aleppo, the war-stricken city in Syria, in the news recently. That's because fighting, which started in 2012 as part of the civil war, has come to a head this week after four long and violent years of rebel groups battling the Syrian army in protest against President Bashar al Assad's regime.
But while the intensity fighting indicates that it might be nearing an end, what some of the civilians living in the second largest Syrian city are currently seeing and experiencing will never leave them. And some of the stories we're hearing, particularly about women trapped in Aleppo, are absolutely harrowing.
It's being suggested that members of Assad's army - who say they have now reclaimed 98% of the city - are violating the civilians who have survived and remain there, with reports of murder and rape becoming more and more frequent. And one letter, discovered by aid worker Abdullateef Khaled and shared on Facebook, corroborates with those allegations.
The letter was allegedly written by a female survivor, a nurse living in Aleppo, before she planned to take her own life as an alternative to the pain and suffering she would endure being sexually assaulted by militants.
"I am one of the woman in Aleppo who will soon be raped in just moments..there are no more weapons or men that can stand between us and the animals who are about to come called the 'country's army'.
I don't want anything from you..I don't even want your supplication…as I am still able to speak I think my supplication is going to be more truthful than what you say!
I am committing suicide..and I don't care if you say I am in Hell-Fire!
I am committing suicide because I did not remain firm in my deceased father's home for all these years because his heart burned when he saw all those who left Aleppo..
I am committing suicide not due to no reason but because I do not want several members of the Assad Regime to savour raping me while just yesterday they were afraid to say the word 'Aleppo'.
I am committing suicide because the Day of Resurrection has taken place in Aleppo and I don't think Hell-Fire will be worse than this..
I am committing suicide and I know all of you will unite on my entering of Hell-Fire and that will be the only thing that you will unite upon: the suicide of a woman. Not your mother or sister or wife…but a woman you are not concerned about.
I will conclude by saying that your fatwa (verdicts) have become meaningless to me so save it for yourself and your family.
I am committing suicide."
It's completely unthinkable that this kind of suffering is happening on a daily basis, not just by women, but by male civilians and children who are also stuck in the Syrian city.
Abdullah Othman, the head of the Consultative Council in the Levant Front, told The Daily Beast of the "barbaric, unprecedented bombardment and shelling that you can't even imagine," that's currently taking place in Aleppo.
"Women and children — their screams can be heard underneath the rubble," he said. "Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to get them out. Everyone is panicking. There is great fear. Everyone can only think of himself, not about others."
Via: Cosmopolitan UK