Conflicts & War

Situation in Aleppo deteriorates with Covid, economic embargo

By Javier Rodrigo

Pamplona, Spain, Jun 27 (efe-epa).- On 16 February 2020, after seizing most of the rebel-held region, the city of Aleppo was entirely under the control of government forces ending years of relentless attacks on the Syrian city.

But circumstances for locals, far from improving, have worsened due to the arrival of Covid-19 and the United States embargo on the Bashar al Assad regime.

“Today, people are tired, they can’t take it anymore,” says Georges Sabe, a member of the Blue Marists of Aleppo.

The Marist Brothers arrived in Syria in 1904 and have been leading educational religious activities in the middle eastern country since.

At the beginning of the war, in 2011, the organization decided to refocus its work to assist those who had been displaced by the armed conflict, which led to the emergence of the so-called Blue Marists, a group of religious volunteers who have become known in this way owing to the color of their sweatshirts.

Sabe was born in Aleppo but moved to the northeastern city of Lleida, where he underwent his novitiate at the Marist Monastery of Las Avellanas.

After completing his training he returned to Syria where he has always worked with children and disadvantaged families.

Reconstruction projects began in 2017 and many Aleppo citizens returned to their homes if their houses had not been completely obliterated. But the reconstruction program has been halted abruptly by the onslaught of coronavirus.

According to Sabe, it is not just the virus causing pain and poverty in the region.

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