A Glimmer Of Hope, Then Back Into The Nightmare For Aleppo Civilians

A glimmer of hope, then back into the nightmare for Aleppo civilians

ALEPPO, Syria, , (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Dec, 2016 ) - In the last rebel-held pocket of Aleppo, residents were bidding a tearful farewell to their battleground city, expecting to evacuate, only to be plunged back into a familiar nightmare.

"Bombing is ongoing, no one can move. Everyone is hiding and terrified. The situation is indescribable," activist Mohammad al-Khatib told AFP on Wednesday from inside the city of northern Syria.

"The wounded and dead are lying in the street. No one dares to try and retrieve the bodies," he said. The tiny enclave still held by rebels in the ravaged east of the city had been quiet for hours, after a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia was announced Tuesday to allow civilians and fighters to leave.

Civilians had gathered in the streets from early morning, devastated at the prospect of exile from their city but relieved to finally escape the hell created by years of bombardment and a months-long siege.

But there was no movement, no sign that the buses parked outside rebel-held areas would enter, and then word spread that the deal was on hold, and suddenly fighting erupted anew. The booms of air strikes and artillery fire rang out, sowing panic across the five square kilometres (two square miles) of residential districts still held by rebels.