Saturday, December 17, 2016

Testimonials and pictures of the fall of Aleppo

Just collecting information from various places for reference and trying to transcribe things for people who are better at reading than listening. (And preserving it I suppose in case twitter decides to start taking things down.) Note well: Some people have been accusing twitter activists of being a propagandists and others seem to think many of their facts match up. (Questions: are the two mutually exclusive? How much does it even matter? Shouldn't all witnesses be heard?) Managed to find some brief interviews conducted by Russian journalists as well. These quotes are presented for the reader's own judgement.

Work in progress.
  • "To everyone who can hear me, we are here exposed to a genocide in the besieged city of Aleppo. This may be my last video. More than 50,000s of civilians who rebelled against the dictator Al-Assad are threatened with field executions or dying under bombing. According to activists, more than 180 people have been field executed in the area that the regime have [recently?] to control by other gangs and the militias that support them. The civilians are stuck in a very small area that doesn't exceed two square kilometers. With no safezone, no life. Every bomb is a new massacre. Save Aleppo. Save humanity." -- Lina Shamy on December 12. On December 14, "Criminal Assad regime and the Iranians have broken the ceasefire and they were back to attack the civilians and continue the genocide. Civilians are stuck again in the city. Uh, no one could have leaved the city under this agreement. How can you trust Russia after they have promised that this agreement will [inaudible] and that no one will attack the civilians. How can you trust Russia? The revolutionaries will, uh, fight, 'til the last breath, uh, protecting the civilians here in the city and, uh, they will continue fighting as long as regime and Iranian will keep attacking us." Earlier December 14, "On behalf on myself and those who are still besieged in Aleppo city, I want to thank those who are still protesting in front of the Russian embassies and consulates all over the world. Understand that your stand with us gives us strength and renew our belief in our collective humanity. Please do not stop. Do not stop to post, to tweet, to speak, to shout. Now, after Iranian militias have revoked the cease fire we need you more. You already did a great job by moving the negotiations into a positive level. We need you now to the streets now, do not surrender, do not stop until the last person is evacuated to safety from the city. God's bless you all." On December 19, "These are our last moments in this tired city, in this exhausted city. We are leaving with a huge grief because we have lived in this city our best moments owning our freedom and dignity. We may not come back unless we liberate this land again. This is not the end of the journey. We will keep calling for the rights of the Syrians to live in freedom, dignity, and justice. And victory to the great Syrian revolution."
  • "They're all dead. We were just walking, and the terrorists started to shoot at us. We started running until we got to a checkpoint, and they caught us there. They beat my parents and told me to go. [Did you see them kill your parents?] Yes. I was walking away, there were a lot of bodies, and then the snipers started to shoot at me. I ran behind a wall and got to a place where there were no snipers. Then I met a man who took me to Aleppo." -- a boy from Aleppo, translation from RT subtitles
  • "Sorry for [inaudible] it's cut off. What I want to say is don't believe any more in United Nation. Don't believe anymore in the international community. Don't think that they are not [satisfied?] with what's going on. They are [satisfied?] that you are being killed. That we are facing one of the most difficult or the most serious or the most horrible massacre that is in that, in your history. [Rashad?] doesn't want us to go out alive. They want us dead. Assad is the same exactly as today there were many celebration on the other part of Aleppo. They were celebrating on our bodies. It's okay, this is live. But at least we know that we were a free people. We wanted a freedom. We didn't want anything else but freedom. You know, this world doesn't like freedom, it seems. Don't believe that you are a free people in your countries anymore. No, this world doesn't want freedom, doesn't like freedom. Maybe, maybe if you want freedom all this means that you think. [I hope?] something can be done. And you can't leave it, you can't speak. Together, once more. If you say that, if you can do something, yes, no one can do nothing, you can't do anything, you can't go out the streets. You can't, you can't call to stop this madness. This is at least what you can do. If your governments don't, uh, respond to your requests, you know, what you want, I hope in the future you are going to be the government. And you are not going to have any connection with Russia and with Assad. I hope you can remember us. Uh, I don't know, thank you very much." -- Mr. Alhamdo   From December 7, "About, uh, the amount of bombings that we receive every day from planes, artillery shillings, Assad allies forces, Assad allies militias. Of course, uh, Assad militias and uh are, uh, do nothing but burning all the land before they make the [progress?]. So, uh, all kinds, uh, habit, this was always going. Uh, what happens here, the rebels who are, uh, not only the rebels I mean [zem?]. Uh, I was living in a house which has got five families, now it has about twenty-five families. Every now and then, just, they knock my [video cuts off]." On December 16, "Sorry for, uh, because the internet was off. So, what I, what I wanted to say that many people, uh, missed their children and uh, so I saw many many families asking me about if their children are there, if they, I saw their, their son, their daughter. It was like the [doomsday?] when you just rush, don't know who is beside you. Your brother, your mother. You don't know him. Okay, I will tell you exactly what happened with, with my wife. I wasn't exa- at that point, at that moment because I just was looking for something to, to feed my daughter. But unfortunately, when I was there away of my uh wife and my family and I saw many people are, are running. So I, uh, directly ran towards my wife, but I couldn't find, but I couldn't find her, and couldn't find my daughter after, uh, about half an hour I could find them. Fortunately they were okay. Uh, my wife told me that, uh for that, they ran for many meters and forgetting my daughter. She was putting her with my bags, and she uh. When she saw those people running and crying and uh the fires were so close so she ran. She doesn't know. She forgets everything. She said, 'what should I do I forgot myself'. So, uh, then her mother, I mean, my mother-in-law told her, 'where is your daughter?' She said, 'Oh my god I forgot her.' Then she get back and find her crying. She get, take her and she ran. This is exactly what happened to [many?] people. It's a kind of a human relation. I guess, I confess. Russia and Assad succeeded in humiliating us. They succeeded in humiliating the international community because they don't care for anything. Uh, the only thing that they care is humiliating us killing us [transcription in progress]" On December 17, "[video of small child laughing] My daughter, my daughter today, uh, after we came back from the corridor and we couldn't go out, they stopped the corridor, uh, I'm glad that she's, uh, she's laughing."
  • "They're all dead. They were killed by terrorist shelling." -- Aleppo orphan, translation from RT subtitles 
  • "A missile just fell, uh, on the roof, uh, of my building. [And now?] other people who were waiting, waiting uh the bus have uh [inaudible] for their [inaudible] and find, uh, [inaudible]." -- Mostafa Mohammediyan, December 14
  • "My dad died five days ago. [What happened to your dad?] He was killed by a mortar shell." -- a girl from Aleppo, translation from RT subtitles 
  • "Salem [something in Arabic?]. I am Abul Kareem and we are in the [Ramussa?] section of, uh, what is left of eastern Aleppo. Now, you'll notice these cars that are right here. There are a sea of cars with fighters and their families and they are and have been waiting for some time to get out. Just about fifty to seventy-five meters that way are a row of buses, and they're all filled with people and they are ready to go but the problem is, is that they have been sitting there since yesterday. So there's not a lot of movement that's happening here in eastern Aleppo. The cars are here, fighters, and their families, everybody's waiting to go. As you can see, it's snowing and the intense cold has been sapping the strength of all of the people who are impatiently waiting here." -- Bilal Abul Kareem, December 21. "Salem [something in Arabic?]. I am Bilal Abdul Kareem and the fighters are now preparing to leave the city of of Aleppo. Now, if you can get a little bit closer here and you will see what this is. This is an explosive belt. And, as you can see, this is what he's wearing. This is what a lot of the fighters are wearing. Why? Because don't feel that they can trust the regime to maintain its word that they will have the safe passage to leave. And if they are stopped, they are prepared for a fight." -- on December 20. "Okay listen everybody, I wanna show you how cold it was last night. Now look at this. Now I'm going down here. Now this is somebody's bag that was here all night, you see? That's frost. Frost was on it all night long. That shows you how cold it is here with people staying, just trying to stay warm, just trying to get next to a fire. Look, you can see this frost on it. And that's even with the sun up and the sun beaming down on it. So when you're at home and you're thinking about what it is here in Aleppo, these are the images that should burn in your mind." -- on December 19. "Salem [something in Arabic?]. I am Bilal Abdul Kareem for On the Ground news. We are still in besieged Aleppo. Temperatures are freezing today hovering around the zero degree mark and are set to go way below zero in the coming hours and overnight. There's limited food, almost no available drinking water, and people are trying to go across, but apparently there's been, uh, a development in the uh buses that were on their way to evacuate, um, those Shia residents from [Kafriyya?] as a part of the deal that involved [Medany?] [Zebodaya?] [Kafriyyar?] and Aleppo. The buses were attacked and there were, uh, and the buses were burned by unknown assailants. OGN's correspondent was there and filmed it as we put on twitter and he uh actually um witnessed some of the burning. Now, there's supposed to be a discussion that's supposed to be held about whether the United Nations uh would play a role, an observatory role in the situation of, uh, of the people coming out of the different territories. I would say unequivocally, yes, it must be an outside force observing because there have been, uh, deaths, robberies, assaults and everything else that has been going on. So the international community has gotta get involved here. Stop having a hands-off approach. Get involved. Understand that there are hundreds of thousands of lives that hang in the balance. So, everybody needs to have a cool had and needs to realize that there has to be observers observing exactly what goes on during these exchanges. Salem [something in Arabic?]." -- on December 18. "Salem [something in Arabic?]. I am Bilal Abdul Kareem for On the Ground news. Look around me. Look at what we have here. I want everybody to take a look. This is what's left of the hospital. Look. Can y'all see that? Blood all over the floor. Injured people all over the place. You understand? This is the situation that's here. Now, everybody has to understand that you've gotta play a role here, whether it's retweet, share, uh, call up people to get the Russians and the Iranians to fulfill their obligations. Everybody's got to become involved. Get educated. Stay engaged. Be involved in solving the problems that are here. This is ridiculous. I-I've never seen anything like this. Just people, just on the floor, uh, with blood all over the walls and they've been here for days." -- on December 17. "Salem [something in Arabic?]. I am Bilal Abdul Kareem for On the Ground news and I want everybody to understand something. Today was supposed to be the day that was supposed to see the fighters and their families and the rest of the civilians to leave eastern Aleppo. Russia today, Russian government is reporting that they've all left and it's all over. Well, I'm still here. And there are thousands upon thousands of people who are still here. Myself today, I saw approximately fifty thousand people. They were so many, they looked like ants, and they were turned back and told that they cannot leave today. Some were told, meaning from the civilians that some buses were going to come. To my knowledge, up until now, they have not come. So I am making it clear to everyone, retweet, uh-uh repost, uh, forward, share on Facebook that there are thousands of people that are here. I am afraid if the Russians are successful in convincing the world that everybody has left, you can guess what's going to happen to the rest of us. [something in Arabic?] We have no one rely on except Allah, and then after him, you. Salem [something in Arabic?" -- on December 16. "Salem [something in Arabic?] I am Bilal Abdul Kareem and everyone knows I am from On the Ground news and I am in the besieged areas in, here in eastern Aleppo. Uh, I, it is very important that everybody, everybody, everybody knows and understands the situation here on the ground. Um, uh, RT, Russia Today dot com is is reporting that the evacuation is over and the people have left eastern Aleppo. This is not true at all. There are thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children that are here. The fighters were not allowed to leave. I repeat, they were not allowed to leave today and nor were their families. There are four which are dead. There are twenty which I have just been informed have been taken prisoner by the Lebanese group known as Hezbollah and the situation is very difficult. I need everybody to retweet this message and to make as much noise as you can because if the world thinks that everyone who wanted to leave as Russia Today wants them to believe then that would mean they could exterminate all of these people and there will be no account for it." -- on December 16.
  • "There was no food and no water. The children couldn't go to school. If a child was sick, we were in despair and there was nowhere to buy any medicine." -- a woman from Aleppo, voiceover translation by RT
  • "I will not appeal to the UN. The UN buries its head in the sand like an ostrich. I will not appeal to Arabs. The most they do is express their sadness and concern for Aleppo." -- Halab Today, incomplete translation from BBC captions. Note: Halab Today has a lot of footage. Hardly anything is in English, but you can still watch what's happening even if you can't understand what is being said. 
  • "It was a nightmare. The terrorists beat us regularly." -- a man from Aleppo, voiceover translation by RT 
  •  "This is the last video I post. We are tired of talking. We are tired of speeches. This message comes from a broken heart. I will stop talking. Here comes the barrel bomb. This will end my video." -- Joud al-Khatib, incomplete translation from BBC captions
  • "We were just happy and living well, and then the war started. [And your family?] They're all dead, they were killed by terrorist shelling." -- a boy from Aleppo, translation from RT subtitles
  • "This is the ongoing situation we are living through in Aleppo. This is part of the death we are living." -- Omar Arab, translation from BBC captions
  • "They starved us. We suffered a lot. I cried day and night." -- a woman from Aleppo, voiceover translation by RT
  • "We don't want Assad's Syria. We want a free Syria. No one stood with us. No one helped us." -- Salah Ashkar, translation from AJ+ captions

Some pictures

Decided to go though Halab Today's twitter and select some photos / screenshot some videos that I think folks should look at even if we don't know Arabic. Note that they sometimes show pictures from solidarity protests held elsewhere in the world, even though Halab Today does appear to be a local Aleppo news source. May add pictures from other sources later.
Google translation of tweet: "# View | Besides the intense bombardment of various types of weapons on the old neighborhoods of Aleppo, besieged # # yesterday Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
 December 10, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "The effects of aerial and artillery bombardment of the palace orchard neighborhood in the besieged city of Aleppo # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo lens: Abdel Qader Abu Saleh"
December 12, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "Activists: Martyrs and stuck under the rubble by the bombing of the Turkish aircraft over the city in the countryside of the door # # eastern Aleppo"
December 12, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "The effects of aerial and artillery bombardment of the palace orchard neighborhood in the besieged city of Aleppo # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo lens: Abdel Qader Abu Saleh"
December 12, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "# Aldvaa_madna: the violent and incessant shelling stop us from saving the wounded hear their cries under the rubble of buildings destroyed and the bodies of the martyrs will fill the streets of the besieged Aleppo #"
December 13, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "Save Aleppo and rescued from the rest of the people of the besieged Aleppo # # Halb_tbad #Halepimhaoluyor #AleppoExterminated"
December 13, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "# View | How sectarian militias attacked the convoys evacuating displaced from # Aleppo yesterday # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
December 16, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "Open road convoys to # meets Aleppo near the Turkish border - Syrian # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
December 17, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "Exit demonstration in front of the Russian embassy in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur # condemn the violations of the Assad regime and Russia against civilians in Aleppo and # # # Syria Malaysia"
December 16, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "Exit demonstration in Jobar neighborhood of Damascus in solidarity with the people of the city of Aleppo # # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
December 16, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "Scenes from the arrival of our people and of the families of wounded civilians from the besieged city of Aleppo # to the western rural Aleppo # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
December 15, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "A protest in the city of Dana Brive # # # Idlib in solidarity with Aleppo"
December 17, Halab Today TV
Google translation of tweet: "Iranian and Lebanese militias carried yesterday executed four people and an affront to the rest of the displaced # Aleppo before they release the convoys and return to the besieged neighborhoods"
December 17, Halab Today TV

Google translation of tweet: "Pause for Aleppo, trapped in front of the UN OCHA office in the Turkish city of Gaziantep # Halb_tbad #StandwithAleppo"
December 16, Halab Today TV

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