‘I Am Waiting To Die’: Syrians In Aleppo Take To Social Media For Their Final Goodbyes.

aleppo


The siege of Aleppo has come to an end as Syrian government forces declared victory in reclaiming the city. A United Nations official described this week’s events in  as “a complete meltdown of humanity.” The pro-government forces have reportedly reached a cease-fire agreement with rebels who remain in the city. The exact terms, however, remain unclear.

Yet rebels and civilians alike are terrified of what the government is likely to do under these tenuous cease-fire terms. After all, the army has been massacring even women and children as they retake the city. Yesterday’s death toll of at least 82 civilians included 11 women and 13 children. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, spoke with the New York Times:

“Mr. Colville said pro-government forces had also reportedly entered homes and killed those they found inside, including women and children.”

The Times also reported that even civilians who don’t identify as rebels are likely to be arrested and tortured:

“Many have been treated as terrorists, and threatened with prison and torture, for protesting against the government, providing medical care to fighters and other activists, and speaking to foreign journalists.”

So some civilians and rebels would prefer death over capture. Ammar al Salmo, leader of the Syrian civil defense in Aleppo, told Vice News:

“We prefer death to being detained, to being executed. We prefer death here. Because we have no option right now, either to die by the bomb or to die by detention or execution. What will the world do if we are detained or die in regime detention? Nothing.”

Women are even committing suicide to avoid the rape that is so common in Syrian regime prisons. In the midst of yesterday’s massacre and the ongoing uncertainty about what will happen next with the government forces, many Syrians are broadcasting their final goodbyes on social media.

‘Now Is The Time To Show Your Humanity’

The messages below are unspeakably heartbreaking. But the people who wrote them wanted the world to know what is happening. They wanted the world to see a glimpse of this unconscionable horror so that perhaps we can pressure those in power to put an end to this.

This tweet from New Yorker contributor Ben Taub brought the situation to the attention of many in the U.S.

https://twitter.com/bentaub91/status/808329752234917893

One Twitter account is run by a mother who has tweeted about life for her and her seven-year-old daughter in East Aleppo.

She was not the only parent speaking out on behalf of a young child.

The father went on to explain why surrender is not an option for him.

Others described the situation as nightmarish.

‘We Cannot Let This Continue’

Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, painted a grim picture of Aleppo in a statement.

“Dozens of bodies reportedly litter the streets of a number of east Aleppo neighborhoods, with residents unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment and fear of being shot.”

And he warned that there is much to come.

“The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction – and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict.”

So the time for action and aid is now.

“What can happen next, if the international community continues to collectively wring its hands can be much more dangerous. We cannot let this continue.”

Featured Image via Twitter