As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces advanced over districts abandoned by retreating rebels on Monday, terrified residents of Aleppo posted final “goodbye” messages on social media, thanking supporters and questioning how the world allowed this to happen.
A message posted to the Twitter account of seven-year-old east Aleppo resident Bana Alabad by Bana’s mother, reads “Final message — I am very sad no one is helping us in this world, no one is evacuating me and my daughter.”
That was followed shortly after by a message from her daughter.
“My dad is injured now. I am crying – Bana.”
After days of intense bombing, a Syrian military source claimed the Syrian Army and its allies had taken full control of all the Aleppo districts abandoned by rebels who were fleeing “in a state of panic”.
A journalist from On the Ground News — a source sympathetic to anti-Assad rebels — posted a video allegedly from Aleppo on Monday as artillery could be heard landing nearby.
Meanwhile, the social media accounts of the White Helmets — rescue workers nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for their efforts helping casualties of the Syrian conflict — posted similar messages of despair.
“We hear children crying, we hear calls for help, but we just can’t do anything. We’re being bombed continuously,” one White Helmets tweet read.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a plea in an emailed statement early on Monday for all sides to spare civilian life.
“As the battle reaches new peaks and the area is plunged into chaos, thousands with no part in the violence have literally nowhere safe to run,” the ICRC statement said.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was alarmed by unverified reports of atrocities in the wake of the army’s advance, his spokesman said.
Zakaria Malahifji, a Turkey-based official for the Fastaqim rebel group fighting in Aleppo, said early on Tuesday that there had been no further international contacts over a proposal to spare the city by allowing fighters to withdraw.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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