Drone footage captures destruction of east Aleppo as ceasefire ignored

Drone footage captured the aftermath of near constant bombing in the city of Aleppo on Wednesday, as a ceasefire between the Russian-backed Syrian government and rebel factions in the area appeared to crumble before it ever had a chance to begin.

Activists in the city said the ceasefire, which was supposed to begin at dawn and allow tens of thousands civilians trapped in the area safe passage out, was instead marked by resumed shelling. While the AP reported that it was unclear which side had broken the truce, civilians in the area identified bombers as pro-government planes.

“They began to strike as if there’s no such thing as a ‘cease-fire’ or ‘civilian evacuation,'” said media activist Mahmoud Raslan. “They’ve announced they are going to kill us all.”

“People have left their shelters… to be ready for the evacuation. I can’t describe it,” said Mohammed Abu Jaafar, head of forensics in eastern Aleppo. “Since the morning, they started to target the areas where people have gathered… these people were walking to the crossings designated for exit.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose government helped broker the ceasefire with Russia, accused pro-government forces of breaking the deal. Iran, who supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was similarly accused of imposing new conditions on rebels for the truce. At least six people have been killed since the bombing continued Wednesday. There are reportedly 800 sick or wounded people in the remaining blocks of rebel-controlled Aleppo needing immediate medical assistance.

The bombing comes one day after the Syrian government was accused of executing 82 civilians by gunfire in their homes, and 20 women reportedly committed suicide to avoid being raped by pro-government fighters. Syrian U.N. ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari denied such reports but said it was the government’s “constitutional right” to go after “terrorists,” referring to resistance forces.

[photo: Getty]