An Anadolu Agency video of war-torn Aleppo – once Syria’s most populous city with 2.3 million inhabitants and the country’s industrial and financial heart – shows buildings in the northern district of Tariq al-Bab largely reduced to hollow shells.
The neighbourhood, which has been controlled by the Free Syrian Army since 2012, was filmed on Thursday. The two-minute 13-second video shows block after block of ravaged buildings.
Around 275,000 people are currently under siege in Aleppo, which is one of the world’s oldest cities, dating back thousands of years.
The incredible level of destruction, much of it due to Syrian regime and Russian air strikes, prompted Staffan de Mistura – the UN special envoy for Syria – to warn on Thursday that Aleppo could be destroyed by the end of the year and thousands more civilians could be killed.
"No one can deny that we are in an emergency mode regarding Syria, Aleppo and future of the conflict," he told reporters in Geneva.
Among the civilian population of Aleppo are an estimated 100,000 children. The death toll from the conflict in Syria has been estimated at more than 470,000 by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based non-governmental organisation.