This week in Restoring Family Links: 07/25/2016-07/29/2016

A man carries an injured person amid rubble of damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria. Photo Credit: Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters

A man carries an injured person amid rubble of damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria. Photo Credit: Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters

Syria: The situation in Aleppo has grown more devastating as Syria’s regime continues to intensify airstrikes. The intensification of airstrikes happened as a UN envoy prepared to meet officials from the U.S. and Russia to revive peace talks.

UNICEF reported that four hospitals and a blood bank were hit by the airstrikes over the weekend, thus disrupting services that keep up to 300,000 civilians alive. As a result, a 2-day-old baby died due to the disruption of oxygen supply when the airstrike hit. The airstrikes over the weekend and during this week have resulted in at least 50 deaths in the city.

With 275,000 people trapped, the UN has called for a weekly 48-hour humanitarian siege. However, with the intensification of violence in Aleppo, this effort as well as the broader cease-fire talks were dampened.

Aleppo is also suffering from a serious shortage of food and basic necessities. With the airstrike, a food warehouse with about 10,000 parcels was destroyed. And the situation will only get worse as the government has tightened its siege on a city, thus blocking any way for aid to be delivered. A Kurdish-controlled town, Qamishli, in northeastern Syria suffered an explosion, resulting in dozens of deaths. Soon after, the Islamic State released a statement praising the attacker, but not claiming credit.

On July 21, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Syria released an official statement, raising concern over the airstrikes. So far, ICRC has intensively aided those in need in Syria, as they have carried out 14 operations across frontlines. These operations reached 16 million people and delivered clean water, food, and essential household items.  

German Red Cross staff and volunteers from the Bavarian branch turned a sports hall into a temporary facility for the people unable to return to their homes after the Munich attack and city`s lockdown. Photo Credit: Christoph Janello, German Red Cross

German Red Cross staff and volunteers from the Bavarian branch turned a sports hall into a temporary facility for the people unable to return to their homes after the Munich attack and city`s lockdown. Photo Credit: Christoph Janello, German Red Cross

Germany: Within a span of a week, Germany suffered four violent attacks. On July 18, it was reported that a 17-year-old man attacked several people with an axe and a knife on a train, and was later killed by the police after he fled the train. On July 22, a man killed nine people and wounded 21 in a shopping mall. He later killed himself. On July 24, a man killed a woman, who had an argument with him earlier in the day, with a machete. Later that day, another tragedy occurred when a man detonated a bomb at a wine bar near a music festival, injuring 15 individuals.

These series of attacks shook Germany as this country received one of the largest numbers of refugees in Europe. The German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that he expected more attacks in the upcoming weeks. It is suspected that attacks would mainly occur in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Cologne as these place are experiencing tension with migrants.

After the July 22 attack, the German Red Cross had set up shelters in the Werner-von-Linde-Hall sport to assist those that could not return homes. They also activated the state-of-the-art emergency systems, mobilizing about 200 aid workers and volunteers to provide comfort to people.