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Since last September Aleppo, Syria's largest city and its former economic capital, has been at the receiving end of what the pressure group Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls "an indiscriminate and unlawful air war against civilians by the Syrian government". Last month HRW produced a study into the scale of the attacks.

-It is difficult to me figuring out what the meaning of the city has been at the receiving end of an unlawful war, really means. Receiving? I would appreciate your help, providing some similar examples.

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The term may have a positive connotation too: God is the Giver and humankind is the receiver. – Lucian Sava Apr 28 '14 at 12:24

Being at the receiving end of something means that someone does something to you, and you receive it.

If I hit you, you are at the receiving end of that blow.

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Syrian government was at the giving end while the city of Aleppo (and its inhabitants) was at the receiving end of “an indiscriminate and unlawful air war”.

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