This week has seen a whirlwind of developments in Syria that have, sadly, done little for the people of Aleppo. Earlier this week, a beacon of hope arrived with a Turkey-Russia brokered ceasefire, which would have allowed civilians and rebels to leave the city. Humanitarian buses waited to usher flocks of people away from hell, but evacuations never began because bombardments continued. So, the agreement immediately collapsed while leaving 50,000 people trapped in the rubble of their former districts.
Another ceasefire began yesterday, but pro-government forces don’t seem to want people to leave. Rescue workers tell Reuters that members of President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime began firing on a convoy as it left eastern Aleppo. This affected both standard evacuation buses and ambulances, which returned to besieged areas. Up to five people were seriously wounded:
An official with an Aleppo rebel group said the first convoy had reached the Ramousah junction on the way out when they came under fire. Rebel officials said they did not complete the crossing.
In a video interview posted to journalists, a man who said he was a civil defense worker said snipers had fired on people as they tried to open the road for the ambulances to pass a government checkpoint out of the rebel-held sector.
“The ambulances were on the way to the crossing which was specified to us to for evacuating people and the regime forces started to shoot at us … Even the men who tried to open the road with their trucks, they fired at them,” the man in the video said.
A witness tells Reuters that the sound of gunfire was unmistakable. Meanwhile, there’s not an operable hospital left in eastern Aleppo, and residents are running out of food and other supplies. The renewed ceasefire aims to move civilians and rebel fighters close to the Turkey border, and hopefully, the plan will make some headway soon.