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Some Colorado lawmakers call on Obama to create safe zones for civilians left in Aleppo

DENVER – A group of Coloradans is calling on President Barack Obama to help stop what they are calling “the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.”

A handful of lawmakers, including Sen. Morgan Carroll, (D-Aurora), Sen. Michael Merrifield, (D-Colorado Springs), Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) and Rep. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver), gathered outside the State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

“My fear is in a time when there’s so much tragedy and so much crisis that we close our eyes and we close our hearts to what is literally unfolding by the minute and by the hour right now in Aleppo,” Carroll said.

They want people to contact Congress and the president to demand an evacuation and safe zones for civilians left in Aleppo.

“We call on President Obama and to congress and in particular our delegation to respond swiftly and to intervene to save the besieged families in Aleppo,” Merrifield said.

A small group of supporters joined the lawmakers with signs to show solidarity with the Syrian people.

The group organizer, Obeid Kaifo, is a Syrian-American whose parents originally came to the United States from Aleppo. He said four of his family members have died in the violence and worries about the rest of his family members.

“To see my family at risk now of being killed, more family members being killed, makes me speechless. And the fact that we’ve allowed this to go to this extent, go this far, that we are at the brink of a genocide, is completely unacceptable,” Kaifo said.

A cease-fire was reached between the sides on Tuesday. But now that the Syrian government has seized control of east Aleppo, Kaifo believes it is crucial for the civilians to be evacuated within 24 hours.

“It is not a stretch of the imagination to think that it would just be a slaughterhouse for the Asaad regime to do what it will,” he said.