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'Civil march for Aleppo' leaves Berlin

Civil march for Aleppo
Civil march for Aleppo

AFP

About 400 peace activists were marching Tuesday from the outskirts of Berlin towards the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo, heading down the refugee trail in reverse, according to AFP.

Organised by Polish journalist and blogger Anna Alboth, the "Civil March for Aleppo" aims to build political pressure to help civilians caught up in the Syrian conflict.

Carrying white flags and hiking backpacks and wearing outdoor gear against the cold and wet December weather, the marchers had on Monday left from the centre of the German capital.

Alboth told Germany's left-leaning Tageszeitung daily that only a core group of 30 activists planned to walk all the way, adding that she expected they may be blocked at the Turkish border.

"The true purpose of the march is that the civilians in Syria get access to humanitarian aid," she said. "We are marching to build pressure."

The starting point was the disused airfield of the Nazi-era Tempelhof airport, which during the Cold War became the hub for the Berlin airlift and now houses several thousands refugees from Syria, Iraq and other countries.

The marchers plan to cover around 20 kilometres (12 miles) a day and walk through the Czech Republic, Austria and several western Balkan countries to Turkey -- and then on to Syria.

Several thousand people have pledged on Facebook they would join at least a section of the about 3,000-kilometre (1,900-mile) trek bound for Syria's second city, which is now squarely under the control of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. 


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