When asked to name the largest city in Syria, most people might think of Damascus. And to be sure, Damascus is the country’s capital, but it is the northern city of Aleppo which is actually Syria’s largest — and wealthiest — metropolis. And unlike Damascus, which is a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite clan, Aleppo is largely Sunni. All that makes it a particularly rich strategic prize for the Free Syrian Army in its fight against the Syrian government.
But now the Syrian Army has surrounded the city, and begun bombing in certain neighborhoods, in preparation for what some are calling a military operation and others a potential massacre. Where that leaves the people of Aleppo is anyone’s guess.
To help us figure out what’s happening in Aleppo, and how its people are coping, we turn to Safa Sankari. She is a Syrian-American from Detroit who has been staying in contact with her friends and family in the city. She’s also the founder and president of the non-profit Syrian American Medical Society, Michigan Chapter, Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps in the humanitarian and medical needs of Syrians. She's also a collaborator on the Women Under Siege project.