If conditions could get incrementally worse than "barely survivable," they just did in Aleppo, Syria. The human rights arm of the United Nations says that forces supporting the Syrian regime have been entering homes in eastern Aleppo and murdering residents, with one report coming in that 82 civilians (11 said to be women, 13 children) have been shot in four separate areas of the city, per the BBC. "We're filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner," says a UN spokesman, who conceded that confirmation of the reports was impossible at the moment. Another humanitarian rep from the UN is calling it a "complete meltdown of humanity." From elsewhere on the internet:
- The New York Times reports rebels hold just a "sliver of territory," per reps for the Syrian government and opposition forces. The paper notes it's "increasingly likely" that Assad's regime could regain control of the city "within days, if not hours."
- The UN and the Red Cross are making desperate pleas to spare the people of Aleppo, the BBC reports, with the International Committee of the Red Cross noting residents have "literally nowhere safe to run." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is said to be "alarmed over reports of atrocities against a large number of civilians," and the ICRC said further tragedy could only be avoided if the basic rules of war were adhered to.
- An opinion piece in the Independent examines why the rebels are losing (they can partly blame Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) and whether Assad will have truly won the war if he gets eastern Aleppo back under his command.
- Vice News has compiled social media postings from people trapped in Aleppo now saying their final goodbyes to the world. One photographer there wrote, "I am waiting to die or be captured by the Assad regime … Pray for me and always remember us," while the mom of Bana Alabed, the 7-year-old girl who's been made famous by her tweets out of the war-torn city, posted on her daughter's Twitter account, "Final message—I am very sad no one is helping us in this world, no one is evacuating me & my daughter. Goodbye." SBS.com notes that Aleppo's governor has pledged to evacuate Bana and her family.
(Read more Aleppo