Against this dreadful backdrop, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs teams in Turkey is working diligently to diminish the influence of ISIS and other extremist elements in the region that are vying to win the support and loyalty of a desperate population that is considered as up for grabs. Alleviating the pain and suffering of Syrians while rolling back the conditions that allow terrorist organizations to take advantage of turmoil is central to that effort.
Earlier this year, the Civil Affairs team identified a critical local need to Spirit of America: food and hygiene supplies for Syrians in the Aleppo region. Providing these supplies fulfilled an urgent shortage and, just as crucially, it expressly demonstrated to the population, which is enduring the tumult and violence of the unrelenting conflict, that the world, including America, intends on easing their suffering. That message and the hopefulness it engenders are perhaps the most effective antidotes against extremism.
SoA Middle East manager, Zack Bazzi, and his Civil Affairs counterparts collaborated to provide much needed sustenance. Within weeks of the first conversation, SoA funded the purchase of life-saving supplies that included blankets, hygiene kits, vegetables, insect sprays, and first aid kits. Seventy boxes of relief supplies were purchased in Turkey and transported to the border then onward to the Aleppo Stabilization Committee, which oversaw their distribution to destitute citizens in the Aleppo region.
Apart from easing the anguish of the war weary citizenry, the supplies enhanced the people’s confidence in the local governing councils, which over the long term, will be vital towards realizing peace and stability in post-war Syria.
SoA’s work in support of the US mission in the region alleviated suffering while strengthening relationships with key partners within the Syrian population. We are grateful to those who contributed towards this project.
Middle East Project Manager