There’s something disturbingly familiar about the image of war-torn families forced to flee the cities they helped built. It’s part of the America’s history, and unfortunately, other nation’s as well.

So after nearly six years of Civil War between the Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and Syrian rebels, Assad managed to take back control of the once rebel-held city of Aleppo.

His strategy? Contain what was then the heart of the resistance into on city. Block all incoming supplies, and continuously bomb them into submission. This includes non-combatants as well, like the very last pediatrician, who was killed in an airstrike, back in May 2016.

Before the siege, Aleppo was a bustling industrialized city with a population of more than 3 million people.

It was an economic hub for textiles, electronics, commerce, pharmaceuticals,  and tourism. Now, after pleading with the international community, it looked like Assad would allow 1,000 evacuees to leave the rebel-held section of the city. However, government forces halted the exodus, after the state-owned news accused rebels of using the convoy to smuggle weapons out of the rebel-controlled area. Anti-government activists and fighters counter that the actual reason behind the halt was in response to the rebels holding two Shiite cities under siege.

What complicates the issue further is the reason why the US, and other Western countries, are hesitant to directly intervene. There’s fear of escalating tension with Russia. Putin’s administration relies heavily on Syrian oil, hence their military involvement on the side of the Assad regime.

This is why so many people’s lives are lost. Money.