After years of bloodshed, violence and countless casualties, the battle for Aleppo may finally be over.
The Syrian government, with the help of allied forces, established control of the rebel-held city and reached an agreement to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from the besieged eastern districts. However, the nascent ceasefire was soon broken and the heavy shelling resumed, further devastating the beleaguered city and its remaining citizens.
While the conflict began in early 2012, after the rebels took hold of what used to be Syria’s most populous city, the last few months have been particularly devastating.
Just last month, the last functioning hospital in the city was destroyed in a series of airstrikes, forcing doctors to take newborn babies out of incubators, wrap them in blankets and run outside where further destruction awaited them.
Recently, a man who used to dress up as clown to cheer up traumatized and injured children in the warzone was also killed in an airstrike.
A 7-year-old girl, Bana al-Abed, used to tell the world about Aleppo through her Twitter account, which was mostly handled by her mother, Fatemah. The little girl had been sharing stories about her life inside the besieged city, but her tweets turned increasingly distressing and dire.
On Sunday, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops made their way deeper into Aleppo, Bana sent out a chilling goodbye tweet to her 94,000 followers, wondering if she would live to see another day.
She was not the only one. A number of people trapped in the city recently posted terror-filled goodbyes on social media.
Take a look at what the city of Aleppo and its people have been through in the past 12 months in the video above.
Thumbnail and Banner Image Credits: Reuters