A Deeply Disturbing Narrative of the Killing in Aleppo is Emerging on Twitter

As social media's prevalence across the world increases, we're getting used to seeing hardships, disasters and, indeed, wars being filtered through them, and Twitter is particularly notorious for this. Perhaps because it's the most accessible, or the most directly linked to news reporting, people have used it to broadcast information about events as they unfold more than any other platform. Aleppo is no exception.

It's been confirmed that a ceasefire has now been reached in the war ravaged Syrian city, but in the run up to this decision, Syrian military forces closed in on rebel-held bunkers and regions throughout the city, with thousands of civilians still caught in the crossfire. As the combat intensified, many people decided to use Twitter to broadcast messages for their friends and families, messages which inevitably ended up reaching a far wider audience.

Some messages addressed the intended recipients directly, while others commented more broadly on everything that's been happening in Aleppo, and Syria at large. For some it's a new way of making their voices heard, but many have been at it for months, it's only over the past few days that the tweets have been brought to wider attention by the media.

The UN have reported that 82 civilians have died at the hands of the pro-Assad forces which have stormed the city, aided by Russia, who have been sending in air strikes. People have caught in explosions, killed by crossfire or just shot on sight in their homes.

Many are using Twitter to appeal to Western leaders directly, but the most repeated sentiment being expressed is this - people genuinely do not know if they will survive this. It's deeply harrowing, and this is a very new, very direct way to view it from an outside perspective. Throughout the Syrian conflict, information has been manipulated by the media to lead us in one direction or another, but this Twitter activity is free from bias, and it sends a clear message - innocent people are scared, trapped, and dying, and nothing is being done.

Many are calling for a 'humanitarian corridor' which would allow civilians safe passage out, and aid in. Since the ceasefire, negotiations on that count seem to have dried up, and it's unclear at this stage whether the pro-Assad are still raiding homes, or how long it will be before the fighting starts again.

The government have claimed that civilians are free to enter safe zones held by them throughout the city, but many refuse to do so for fear of being imprisoned, tortured or killed.

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