Aleppo on the Brink: Syrians Flee Besieged City

Rebel-held Aleppo has been reduced to a small sliver as the Syrian government is on the brink of retaking the city.

A Syrian boy rides a bike adorned with a Syrian flag as Syrians families, who were displaced from east Aleppo last month, return to their homes in the Hanano district of eastern Aleppo, Syria on Dec. 4, 2016.

On Nov. 26, government forces stormed the Hanano district, their deepest incursion into east Aleppo in more than four years. Abdul-Ghani Kassa, Aleppo's deputy governor, said some 750 families have so far returned the Hanano, a district subjected to wide destruction during government shelling and airstrikes on the area.

Hassan Ammar / AP

Smoke rises from the al-Ethaa government-held neighborhood in eastern Aleppo during clashes on Dec. 5.

The Syrian military said on Monday it has gained control of 98 percent of eastern Aleppo, previously a rebel-held enclave, reducing the rebel territory to a small sliver packed with civilians and fighters squeezed under fire.

Youssef Karwashan / AFP - Getty Images

People carry their belongings while leaving the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo on Dec. 7.

A Syrian rebel spokesman said opposition fighters are retreating in eastern Aleppo under intense government fire that is putting thousands of civilians at risk, calling the collapse "terrifying."


A Syrian girl walks amid the wreckage of damaged buildings and shops in the western city of Aleppo on Dec. 5.

Hassan Ammar / AP

People walk near the blood-stained ground after strikes on rebel-held besieged el-Zebdeh district in Aleppo on Dec. 5.

Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

A man holds the hand of a boy as they flee deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Dec. 9.

Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

A rebel fighter fires towards pro-government positions west of the northern city of Aleppo on Dec. 9.

Thaer Mohammed / AFP - Getty Images

Civilians sit inside a damaged house in a government held area of Aleppo on Dec. 9.

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

A member of the government forces pushes an injured woman in a wheelchair as civilians are evacuated from Aleppo's al-Shaar neighborhood after government forces took control of the area in the eastern part of the northern city on Dec. 7.

George Ourfalian / AFP - Getty Images

A Syrian army soldier places a Syrian national flag during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo on Dec. 5.

Hassan Ammar / AP, file

A Syrian medic treats a child suffering from respiratory distress symptoms at a field hospital in the al-Kallaseh neighborhood of Aleppo on Dec. 10.

Ghirh Sy / EPA

Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighborhood on Dec. 13 after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters.

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A man carries a child with an IV drip as he flees deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Dec. 12.

Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

A police brigadier general addresses men who were evacuated from the eastern districts of Aleppo as part of a preparation to begin their military service at a police center in Aleppo on Dec. 11.

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

Tajeddin Ahmed takes a picture of his wife, Kefa Jawish, walking past burnt-out cars as they head to check their house for the first time in four years in Aleppo's northeastern Haydariya neighborhood on Dec. 4.

Jawish was among hundreds of Syrians returning to east Aleppo in recent days after the army recaptured large swaths of the city from rebels, and encouraged residents to visit neighborhoods and homes they left years earlier.

Youssef Karwashan / AFP - Getty Images
Fighters of the Free Syrian Army fire an anti-aircraft weapon in the rebel-held Mashhad area in southeastern Aleppo on Dec. 12 as they battle Syrian government forces during an operation to retake the embattled city. Stringer / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian children, who were displaced from east Aleppo last month with their families, wait for a security check to be able to return to their homes in the Hanano district of eastern Aleppo on Dec. 4.

Hassan Ammar / AP

A Syrian army soldier runs to take his position during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo on Dec. 5.

Hassan Ammar / AP

Supporters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry their national flags and gesture as they tour the streets in celebration of what they say is the Syrian army's victory against the rebels in Aleppo on Dec. 12.

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

Smoke and flames rise after air strikes on rebel-controlled besieged area of Aleppo, as seen from a government-held side on Dec. 11.

PHOTOS - Aleppo Exodus: Terrified Syrians Flee Besieged City

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters