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IU Professor Says Syrian Conflict Could Have Widespread Scope

Refugee

Human Rights Watch says the forces battling for control of the Syrian city of Aleppo are plunging its residents into "hell."

The New York-based group has called, in a statement Wednesday, on the forces loyal to the Syrian government in particular to halt "unlawful' attacks on and allow for the safe evacuation of civilians. The group says rebel groups have also shelled government areas, killing and wounding civilians.

A cease-fire designed to allow for the evacuation of civilians and rebels crumbled Wednesday as government bombing resumed. Doctors in the besieged strip have already been overwhelmed, and only one health facility remains operational. Rescuers say bodies and wounded are being left on the streets because of the intensity of the attack.

Associate Professor in Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies, Elizabeth Cullen Dunn says what’s happening in Aleppo could have a widespread scope especially when it comes to those displaced because of the conflict.

"We’re expecting 80,000 new refugees and that is on top of seven million refugees and an additional 11 million internally displaced people in Syria, so this is a human tragedy of such epic proportions, it’s really hard to convey the scope of," Dunn says.

Bloomington was originally approved as a resettlement community for refugees by the State Department in September. Resettlement in Bloomington is on hold for now as the new administration transitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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