Q & A: In conversation with the Free Syrian Army on Aleppo

Injured civilians have been massacred inside treatment centers, bodies are lying in the streets, and civilians are trapped with no way out. The FSA's Asaad Hanna says the global community is complicit in the crimes unleashed on Aleppo's civilians.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Fighters of the Free Syrian Army fire an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo's rebel-held area of Mashhad, on December 12, 2016, as they battle Syrian government forces during an operation to retake the embattled city.

Shaheryar Mirza Shaheryar Mirza is staff at TRT World. @mirza9

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad's forces now hold more than 90 percent of the one-time opposition stronghold of eastern Aleppo, and appear on the verge of retaking the entire city. Assad's forces and allied militias on Tuesday took control of all the Aleppo districts abandoned by rebels during their retreat from the city, according to the Syrian regime.

The siege of Aleppo intensified in scale and brutality in October and by November rebels started suffering major territorial losses. The gains by the Syrian regime have been consistently referred to as "the fall of Aleppo" but the FSA has said in the past that cities have fallen, only to be recaptured by rebels at a later time.

TRT World spoke to Asaad Hanna, a political officer for the FSA based in Istanbul, who reveals that the situation in eastern Aleppo is worse than anything Syria has experienced since the start of the revolt against Bashar al Assad in 2011.

What do your friends and Free Syrian Army fighters see happening in Aleppo right now?

ASAAD HANNA: The situation in the last 24 hours until this moment – yesterday was a very insane, crazy day. Huge and aggressive attacks from the regime on eastern Aleppo – a small area – which has about 150,000 civilians. Our friends there and our fighters there in this area have told us that each building has around 1500 civilians. The air strikes and attacks in Aleppo, each bomb can kill hundreds of people, and that’s what happened. All the hospitals are out of service because of the attacks during the last month [since November 15th when the latest round of attacks started]. There is no medical in eastern Aleppo, there are some doctors but they cannot do anything for the people because they don’t have any supplies so anyone who has been injured will most likely be killed in eastern Aleppo.

The attacks have been very strong and there are a lot of civilians and many bodies in the streets, all the night, because of the snipers and the air strikes. When people are running [from air strikes] into the streets they are being hit by snipers. The foreign militias Iraqi and Lebanese [Hezbollah] – only 20 percent are Syrian regime soldiers – and Syrian regime fighters started to enter many neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo. We have received reports that they’ve killed many of the people who were hiding in their homes and neighbourhoods. More than 80 people last night were executed by these militias. They were shot.

We also received reports from a nurse in a medical house [al Hayat Hospital] that foreign militias entered so people inside ran out, but the injured could not run out, and when they entered the medical house they killed everyone inside. They were all injured people.

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