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Heartbreaking ‘final messages’ from the powerless people of Aleppo

ALEPPO: As the battle for Aleppo entered its “final phase” Monday, residents trapped in the ‘war zone’ posted their desperate ‘final messages’ on social media.

Bana Alabed, 7, tweeted live along with her mother from East Aleppo. “I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die.”

“I am waiting to die or be captured by the Assad regime…Pray for me and always remember us,” photographer Ameen Al-Halabi wrote on Facebook.

A journalist shared an Aleppo-based doctor’s last message which read, “A farewell message: Remember that there was a city called Aleppo that the world erased from the map and history.”

Displaced civilians — many hungry after fleeing without food — sat on pavements or lay on the street with nowhere else to go.

The White Helmets emergency service, which operates in rebel-held areas across Syria, said it had been unable to pull bodies out from under collapsed buildings because of the ferocity of the bombardment.

“It’s hell,” it said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Terrified residents have poured out of rebel-held neighbourhoods as the army advanced since the beginning of an operation on November 15. The Observatory said on Monday that another 10,000 people had fled rebel areas over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of those who have fled — mostly to government-held territory — to 130,000.

Syria’s rebels seized control of east Aleppo in 2012, a year into an uprising that began with anti-government protests but spiralled into a complex multi-front conflict, drawing in proxy powers and militant groups such as the IS.

Bilal Abdul Kareem, independent journalist in northern Syria since 2014,  in a video Monday night calling out Muslim countries who failed to help Aleppo, saying, “You blew it.”

In the footage which was posted on social media by Al Jazeera, people of Aleppo are sending their last message to the world.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against “a large number of civilians, including women and children” in Aleppo, his spokesman Stephan Dujarric said Monday.

Celebratory gunshots with bullets that leave red tails echoed in Aleppo following the news that the rebels have almost lost their ground in the eastern part of the city.

“God, Syria and only Bashar”, “With soul and blood we sacrifice for Syria”, and “God protects the army”, these were some slogans shouted by the people there, in support for the army.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in nearly six years of civil war. Millions more have fled their homes.

With inputs from AFP/IANS