Escaping Aleppo: 'Bombs are falling all around us'

Escaping Aleppo: 'Bombs are falling all around us'
Aleppo locals speak about their harrowing escape attempts from the Syrian battleground city under a brutal military assault.

3 min read
14 December, 2016
Shelling and air raids have sent terrified residents running through the streets [Getty]
In Syria's battleground city of Aleppo some residents have managed to escape the brutal military assault that surrounds them to tell the tale of their daring getaway.

While in the last rebel-held pocket of Aleppo, other residents were bidding a tearful farewell to their city, expecting to evacuate, only to be plunged back into a familiar nightmare.

Yassir Najjar, a local of Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district, who managed to flee to safety in the al-Askar district told The New Arab about his harrowing journey.

"We suddenly realised that only a few metres separated us from regime forces and the option we had was to run away under the bombardment to escape certain death," Najjar said.

"Bombs were falling all around us. Many of the people around us did not make it and were killed in the streets. We could only keep on running without any idea where we were going or if we were heading towards regime-held areas."

"I took refuge in a house with five families. We all sat there waiting to die, as many of us would have preferred to be killed by a bomb than at the hands of the regime thugs."

He added that the conditions were "apocalyptic" in the city with many dead bodies strewn among the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Conditions were 'apocalyptic' in the city with many dead bodies strewn among the rubble of destroyed buildings

"We are no longer confident that someone will save us. The whole world has abandoned humanity and sold us."

UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville has described reports of at least 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children, being executed in recent days in summary executions.

Activist Mohammad al-Khatib said on Wednesday that regime forces continued their onslaught of the city after a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia to allow civilians and fighters to leave fell apart because of Iranian objections.

"Bombing is ongoing, no one can move. Everyone is hiding and terrified. The situation is indescribable," Khatib said from inside the city.

"The wounded and dead are lying in the street. No one dares to try and retrieve the bodies," he added.

The wounded and dead are lying in the street. No one dares to try and retrieve the bodies

Some residents have taken to Twitter, for many their only link with the outside word, to publish desperate messages from neighbourhoods under fire.

"The criminal Assad regime and the Iranians have broke the ceasefire and they were back to attack the civilians and continue the genocide," said activist Lina Shamy, in a video tweet, with the sound of gunfire audible in the background.

"Civilians are stuck again in the city. No one could have left the city under this agreement. The revolutionaries will fight till the last breath, protecting the civilians here in the city," she added.