As Syrian government forces closed in on the last sliver of rebel-held territory in Aleppo on Monday, trapped residents braced for the worst. Some posted final messages online, saying their possible final farewells amid the rumble of intensifying airstrikes and war planes overhead — the sounds of the Bashar al-Assad regime closing in.
“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.
American video journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem, one of few still getting reports out of eastern Aleppo, recorded a video message calling out Muslim countries who failed to help Aleppo, saying, “You blew it.”
“The battle in eastern Aleppo should end quickly. They (rebels) don’t have much time. They either have to surrender or die,” said Lieutenant General Zaid al-Saleh, head of the government’s Aleppo security committee, according to Reuters.
Millions have fled Syria since the beginning of the civil war, flooding Europe and neighboring countries in the Middle East. More than 10,000 have fled in just the past 24 hours. And at least 100,000 remain, according to opposition officials, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Every message now that I'm receiving from east Aleppo is preceded with "this may be my last message". The heart breaks.— Kareem Shaheen (@kshaheen) December 12, 2016
Final message - I am very sad no one is helping us in this world, no one is evacuating me & my daughter. Goodbye.- Fatemah #Aleppo— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 12, 2016
Final message - people are dying since last night. I am very surprised I am tweeting right now & still alive. - Fatemah #Aleppo— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 12, 2016
Perhaps my final message from E. Aleppo. Regime forces are closing in and bunker busters are raining down. pic.twitter.com/XgK0DSa08x— Bilal Abdul Kareem (@BilalKareem) December 12, 2016
Don't wait for more time. Handeds of souls are dying every hour. save the rest.— @Mr.Alhamdo (@Mr_Alhamdo) December 12, 2016
Now now is the time to show your humanity for people here.
I can tweet now but I might not do it forever. please save my daughter's life and others. this is a call from a father.— @Mr.Alhamdo (@Mr_Alhamdo) December 12, 2016