Middle East

Battle for Aleppo: What has happened to those who sent final goodbyes?

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A man carries a child with an IV drip as he flees deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria December 12, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This man fled deeper into rebel-held territory with a child attached to an IV drip, on Monday

As the battle for Aleppo heads towards a conclusion, people trapped in a small area of east Aleppo still held by the rebels have been sending harrowing messages with their final goodbyes.

As the bombing by Syrian government forces intensified, the calls for help from those trapped in rebel-territory have grown more desperate.

On Tuesday, BBC News published "final goodbyes" from some of those in rebel-held east Aleppo, who used social media to get their messages out.

Since then some of them have been able to provide further updates, despite their worst fears, even as the situation for those in the besieged territory remains unclear.


Lina, an activist tweeting from the city, made this desperate plea: "Humans all over the world, don't sleep! You can do something, protest now! Stop the genocide".

She posted this powerful farewell video message on Monday:

Image copyright Twitter

Update 14 December: Lina Shamy tweeted on Tuesday and Wednesday after the ceasefire was broken. She wrote of "intense shelling" and "the genocide still ongoing".


Others appear to have given up hope, posting messages as bombs fall around them.

One man says it is the last video he will post. "We are tired of talking, we are tired of speeches. No one listens, no one responds. Here comes the barrel bomb. This is the video's ending."

As he signs off, a bomb explodes nearby.

And waking up on Tuesday morning, still alive, Monther Etaky writes: "I still here [sic], facing the genocide with my special friends without any comments from the world."

But the threat of imminent death is still here. "I hope I could broadcast our live death to you," he says bitterly.

Image copyright Twitter

Update 14 December: Monther Etaky appeared on BBC Television on Tuesday. During the broadcast, bombs could be heard nearby.


Bana Alabed, the seven-year-old girl who has been tweeting from an account managed by her mother, wrote a heart-breaking message on Tuesday morning.

"I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die."

Earlier, she tweeted "Final message. People are dying since last night. I am very surprised I am tweeting right now and still alive."

And a few hours later: "My dad is injured now. I am crying."

Image copyright Twitter

Update 14 December: Bana's mother, Fatemah, tweeted again on Wednesday, asking why the world was silent during intense bombing.


It appeared from many messages that Aleppo was under its worst bombardment yet.

"It's hell", says a tweet by the White Helmets - a Syrian volunteer group which has been working in East Aleppo - in a harrowing message from late on Monday.

"All streets & destroyed buildings are full with dead bodies".

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Those who could, fled

Descriptions of the situation in Aleppo all paint Armageddon-like scenes. Abdul Kafi Alhamdo, an English teacher inside one of the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo said it felt like "Doomsday" as government forces advanced.

"Bombs are everywhere. People are running, they don't know where, just running. People are injured in the streets. No-one can go to help them," he told BBC News.

"Some people are under the rubble, no-one can help them. They just leave them under the rubble until they die - these houses as their graves," he said.

Media captionAbdul Kafi Alhamdo, an English teacher, says it is "Doomsday" in rebel-held Aleppo

Update 14 December: Mr Alhamdo was active on social media on Wednesday, saying foreign powers had manipulated events in Aleppo.


Some were only able to send the BBC text messages. One father in the city wrote: "Guess it's goodbye. Thanks all who stand for us and pay for us. But it's almost over and they are just hours away of killing us."

And another father, whom the BBC has regularly spoken to over the past year, said: "The last message. Thanks for everything. We shared many moments. These are last tweets from an emotional father. Farewell, Aleppo."

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