In an interview with Mike Barnicle on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson left almost everybody familiar with basic politics speechless when he asked: “What is Aleppo?”
The question prompted various reactions, mostly scorn and criticism, from all across the world. People were shocked to see that a person running for the highest political office in the United States didn’t know name of the city that is the epicenter of the Syrian civil war.
For those unaware of Aleppo, like Johnson, Aleppo was once Syria’s bustling cultural and financial hub with a population of nearly 2 million people.
However, the city’s fate took a turn for the worse when a civil conflict broke out between various rebel groups and Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces in March 2011, which later ensued into the worst humanitarian emergency of this era.
Along with Aleppo, the cities of Homs and Damascus, is among the most war-torn cities in Syria. It was once a bustling place, home to around a million people. In fact, it used to be the hub of the nation’s industrial and agricultural sectors.
Just on Sept. 5, a suspected chlorine gas attack on an opposition-held area in Aleppo caused dozens of cases of suffocation.
Five years of fighting has claimed more than 400,000 lives in Syria.