The Daily Beast reports: Amid celebratory gunfire and cheers from Assad loyalists, foreign militias under Iranian command and troops loyal to the regime on Monday captured about 90 percent of the opposition-held areas of eastern Aleppo.
The last hope of the besieged rebels, most of whom seem to have withdrawn in the face of certain defeat, had been to receive reinforcements or resupplies from their counterparts in the southern and western suburbs. That option has now been foreclosed upon as these routes are completely interdicted by the regime.
The triumphal takeover of the citadel of the Syrian revolution followed a day of intense bombing of houses and apartment buildings, destroying so many that it was impossible to determine the death toll. The neighborhoods of Bustan al-Qasr, al-Kallasa, al-Farod and al-Salhin in the Old City, as well as Sheikh Saed, in the southern district, are all now under regime control.
The Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets, an internationally renowned team of first responders, said more than 90 bodies of people presumed to be still alive are under debris and that its volunteer staff reported they could hear the voices of children trapped in the rubbles of their houses.
A member of the group in Aleppo told al-Arabiya TV on Monday night that men, women, and children were huddling and crying in the streets and at the gates of empty buildings in the few neighborhoods that remained in the hands of the opposition. He described the situation as hopeless, because precision munitions and indiscriminate barrel bombs had destroyed the city’s medical facilities, ambulances, and fuel supply. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: The United Nations warned Tuesday that dozens of people may have been executed in the Syrian city of Aleppoas pro-government troops seized what remained of the rebels’ most famous stronghold.
Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. human rights council, said his office received reports that pro-government forces had killed at least 82 civilians, entering homes and killing people “on the spot.”
Others were reportedly shot as they fled. A list of names provided to the U.N. included 11 women and 13 children, he said. [Continue reading…]
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) December 13, 2016