The final battle that overtook the beleaguered city of Aleppo in Syria may seem so far away. But viewed through the lens of social media, we were able to learn about the atrocities that were happening in that Middle East country in real-time.
Here are 8 fast facts you need to know about the situation in Aleppo:
The fall of the city of Aleppo last December 13 was five years in the making. The city was the battleground between government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (who held the western end of Aleppo) and rebel forces (who occupied the eastern end).
The battle in Aleppo is part of the on-going Syrian civil war that resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing out of Syria and into the Middle East and Europe. The war came about as Assad cracked down on the country’s pro-democracy movements as a result of the Arab uprisings in 2011.
The city of Aleppo is one of the oldest cities in history, its Old City added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1986. Before the war, Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city and its financial centre. The city was besieged when it was occupied by the rebels in 2012.
The five-year battle has resulted in 25,000 deaths. In the past month, there were more than a thousand killed. There were reported 60 to 80 civilian deaths as a result of the final push by government forces in Eastern Aleppo. After the rebels proposed a ceasefire, there were reports of summary executions conducted by government soldiers against citizens suspected of helping the rebels.