Heartbreaking Civilian Crisis in Aleppo Draws Reactions From Madonna, Pink, Bette Midler & More

Seth Wenig/AP Photo
United Nations staff and other supporters assemble in front of U.N. headquarters to show their solidarity with the people of Aleppo, Syria on Dec. 15, 2016. 

The images are haunting. Days after Russia said the four-year battle over Syria's largest city, Aleppo, had ended with the defeat of rebel forces, social media feeds and 24-hour news channel screens were flooded with pictures of civilian casualties and a desperate flood of families fleeing the violence as President Bashar al-Assad declared the "liberation" of the besieged city. On Thursday (Dec. 15), confusion continued over who controlled Aleppo and whether it was safe for residents to leave, even as a fresh wave of refugees tried to flee amid fears of fresh attacks.

The haunting shots of the injured and displaced -- many of them women and children -- and the desperate pleas posted on social media over the past week drew a strong reaction from artists including Madonna, P!nk, Christina Perri, Jessie J and Bette Midler, who urged the U.N. and U.S. to help the war's victims and speak out against the Assad regime.

"Pray for the End to the Genocide in Syria!" Madonna wrote next to a photo of two dust-covered boys clinging to each other in desperation. "100s of thousand's of innocent Children have been dragged into the meaningless Brutality and Violence in Aleppo."

 

Midler mourned the death of Aleppo, calling Assad a "butcher, monster and optometrist, [who] has murdered hundreds of thousands of his own as we watched."

 

My heart is so heavy...How could it possibly be so bad? Nobody should have to go through something so disturbing..I am so disgusted at humanity for allowing mass murders like this to happen...mothers and fathers feeling helpless, not being able to save and protect their innocent babies...real human beings are being tortured, killed, massacred, with no medicine, no hospitals, schools, shelter, food... a human being, let alone, ANY being should never have to deal with torment like this...My deepest thoughts and prayers are with Aleppo... all of the beautiful men women and children that are suffering and dying...I am so sorry...pray pray pray... #aleppo -------------------- if there are any support sites or ways to help that you know of please write below❤️...

A photo posted by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on

 

P!nk wrote "we cannot sit back and watch" and also suggested ways you can help.

 

These pictures are REAL and happening right now. We MUST take a stand and help however we can. I'm sitting here in tears completely saddened and broken by what the world is. The pain, the death, the killing of innocent lives is inhuman. Children, families, lives being destroyed. It is not a time where we can turn a blind eye and ignore what is happening in our world. You don't have to be Syrian to recognise this is a war, a fight a painful and awful way to live and to die. You have to BE HUMAN. We have to help. I feel helpless in these moments. But I know I can use my voice and my platform to the thousands of people that look at my pictures and ask you kindly with me to donate. To help in any which way you can. #prayforsyria #aleppo #aleppo_is_burning #alepponeedsus http://www.karamfoundation.org/emergency-aid-children-of-syria

A photo posted by J E S S I E . J (@isthatjessiej) on

 

Actress Gillian Anderson encouraged people to raise funds to rebuild hospitals in Aleppo, while Khloe Kardashian pointed to other ways to assist.

On Wednesday night (Dec. 14), the Eiffel Tower in Paris went dark in honor of the civilians trapped in the city.

In a press conference about the growing humanitarian crisis and the chaos in Aleppo, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, "The Assad regime is carrying out nothing short of a massacre [of civilians]. We have witnessed indiscriminate slaughter, not accidents of war, not collateral damage, but frankly purposeful... a cynical policy of terrorizing civilians." Click here to learn about five ways to help the people of Aleppo.