After 19 months of bloody conflict there are still no signs of peace in Syria.
ruthless battle has been raging in Aleppo for more than two months,
between insurgents from the Free Syrian Army and forces loyal to
President Bashar al-Assad and the situation is only getting worse.
A euronews crew led by Farouk Atig made it into Syria's second city and main commercial hub.
get there, we started at the Kilis border in southern Turkey. From
there we were able to cross into the village of Azaz on the other side
of the frontier which has been under rebel control since mid-July.
further eighty kilometres away as the crow flies was our ultimate
target Aleppo. On arrival the crew were at first struck by the level of
destruction and chaos in this once prosperous city.
impossible to say how many people remained there as many areas were
inaccessible. The city had been quite literally cut in half.
The areas held by rebels are the only places open to journalists and they were under constant bombardment
one time the mosques were spared, but now they too lie in ruins. Even
hospitals are fair game for destruction. At Dar Al Shifa, renamed the
hospital of the free men, the wounded arrive continuously.
doctors assisted by 10 nurses and many volunteers are responsible for
their care. The real problem there was not lack of medication, but
shortage of staff.
"Most of those coming in are civilians, about
80% of them are civilians and the rest are from the Free Syrian Army,"
said Osman Osman an Emergency doctor.
Emergency treatment is
given as quickly as possible, while doctors were trying to rehydrate one
young girl a rebel fighter was brought in by his comrades returning
from combat in the neighbouring district of Arkoub. But it was too late,
Ibrahim was dead on arrival.
Nur Al-Hayat, a volunteer nurse was
greatly angered by this: "We will win against Bashar the dog, by the
will of God. We may not have the weapons the regime have, with its air
force. Our weapons are so simple, but despite of this we are winning.
Every day, we are making progress. Every martyr who is sacrificed is
replaced by 100 more," she said.
Many of those who choose to leave are reluctant to head for the Turkish border, as they fear they will be turned away.
saw one man and his family who did not wish to be identified, heading
for the airport area still held by the regime. Bombs are still falling
as they left the city.
In the Hanano and Tarik el-Bab
neighbourhoods, the threat comes mainly from the sky. Combat aircraft
and helicopters constantly circle like vultures over the rubble. By now
everyone seems to be used to the danger.
While the euronews crew were filming a Russian-made MIG dropped a bomb just a few hundred metres away.
the roads out of Aleppo, we met lots of people who are trying to make
it to the Turkish border where their family was waiting for them. They
took only the bare necessities.
We asked Ahmed Nassou who is from Aleppo why he was fleeing:
had to leave very quickly because of the bombs that did not stop
falling. It was really scary. Everything was destroyed, I saw children
die, crushed by the weight of the buildings that collapsed on them," he
said. We agreed with Ahmed and his family to meet up later.
The City of Marea is a few kilometres away. We travelled there and saw the result of several months of relentless air strikes.
that the rebels were using one of the schools as a base, the regular
army blew it to smithereens. Hakim, a local teacher, complained that
there could have been children inside.
"That's Bashar al-Assad's
reforms? Bombing schools?" He said. "Where are the weapons? Where is the
Free Army? There's nobody here! He also wants to kill our children and
destroy their schools?
"Fine destroy everything if you want, we don't care! What's it all for?"
He then showed us what was left of the school.
"Even during the two world wars schools were spared. What are they looking for? Terrorists? There's nobody here.
official media claims the gangs hide here, that weapons are stored in
the schools. I challenge Assad's army to find a single drop of blood
here. If there was anyone here, we'd see blood. Look at the ground."
far from there, we meet with Abu Hassan and Fatma. From the outset, the
couple took part in the revolt against the regime. Their names are now
on the blacklist.
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