World: In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter - PressFrom - US
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WorldIn crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter

16:05  21 february  2019
16:05  21 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Aid workers and residents say Russia's intervention, which began Sept. 30, has brought some of the most intense bombardments since the conflict A pro-opposition media activist in Aleppo province said two hospitals in the area where Musa's family fled had been hit. "Air strikes targeted two of the

The alert said to "seek immediate shelter ," and many businesses opened their doors to fleeing residents and visitors, CBS affiliate KMGB reports. The alert broadcasted on television said: "If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows.

In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter© Provided by AFP Izzat al-Dahan stands outside his family flat in a building badly damaged during years of battles between rebel fighters and regime forces in the former opposition held city of Aleppo

In the Syrian city of Aleppo, Izzat al-Dahan climbed up to his sixth-floor apartment in a crumbling building, and pushed open the wooden plank which serves as a door. This is home, but not for much longer.

His heart heavy he entered the cold and dark apartment, and surveyed the damage wrought by the fierce bombing which rained for years on the city.

This flat with its blackened walls is the home he has owned for 22 years, but now he has to pack to leave once again.

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Aid workers and residents say Russia's intervention, which began September 30, has brought some of the most intense bombardments since the conflict A pro-opposition media activist in Aleppo province said two hospitals in the area where Musa's family fled had been hit. "Air strikes targeted two of the

Residents fleeing the violence in Aleppo , Syria, gathered at a government checkpoint in the city on Thursday. Those still inside describe chaos and intense crowding in some areas as people scramble for shelter . They said wounded people and bodies were left in the streets with no one to help them.

"We have already been displaced four times during the conflict, and we thought we would never have to move again after the clashes and bombings ended" in late 2016, he said.

"But today I was told... we must move again."

Dahan, 50, his wife and seven children are the only remaining residents of the building, one of many blocks in the Salaheddin neighbourhood badly damaged in the four-year battle for the former rebel stronghold.

In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter© Provided by AFP Tractors and trucks remove the rubble from damaged Aleppo streets, but little reconstruction has yet taken place to provide new homes

The other residents have all fled. And now the municipality has asked Dahan and his family to evacuate too, saying the block is not safe to live in.

With little reconstruction going on in Aleppo since the army took back rebel districts with Russian support in late 2016, many buildings in the area are standing on the brink of collapse.

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Aid workers and residents say Russia’s intervention, which began Sept. 30, has brought some of the most intense bombardments since the conflict A pro-opposition media activist in Aleppo province said two hospitals in the area where Musa’s family fled had been hit. “Air strikes targeted two of the

Aleppo has become a key battleground in the conflict, which began in 2011 and has killed more than 400,000 people. Seizing the eastern districts of But residents of eastern Aleppo contacted by phone said people fear arrest and worse consequences if they leave. They also have cited confusion about

Earlier this month, 11 people, including four children, were killed when a five-storey block came tumbling down in the neighbourhood.

The crisis has prompted Syrian authorities to form so-called "inspection committees" tasked with determining whether a building should be demolished.

- 'Nowhere to go' -

His back hunched, Dahan walked from the corridor to the living room, his long winter coat trailing behind him.

He pointed to a wall he recently renovated and made his way to the balcony, which he began to cover with a tarpaulin sheet.

In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter© Provided by AFP Izzat al-Dahan says he and his wife, and seven children have nowhere else to go if they have to leave their crumbling Aleppo flat, which is in danger of collapse

"We first left this house in 2012, moving from one neighbourhood to the other in Aleppo, to escape the clashes," he said.

They later returned in 2016 and "started renovating everything that could be refurbished, hoping we could stay," he said.

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — He had long been one of the more optimistic anti-government residents of the besieged, rebel-held section of Aleppo , trying to buoy others’ spirits even as loyalist forces closed in. But as the Syrian Army and allied militias took more and more territory in an apparently decisive

Hearing from Aleppo 's war-weary residents . Retaking Aleppo , which has been divided between rebel- and government-controlled zones since 2012, would be President Bashar Assad’s biggest victory yet in the country’s Aleppo has long been regarded as a major gateway between Turkey and Syria.

Behind a large piece of cloth used to separate the kitchen from the living room came the clang of pots and pans, followed by the muffled sound of a woman crying.

Dahan's wife, Umm Mohammad, says they have nowhere to go.

"We know that this place is dangerous, and the building could collapse at any moment, but we have no other choice," she said from inside the kitchen.

"We have nowhere to go and no money to rent a new home," she added.

Outside, a cloud of dust rose into the sky.

In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter© Provided by AFP Aleppo residents walk past the rubble of buildings that were heavily damaged or destroyed during battles between rebel fighters and Syrian regime forces

The entrance to the neighbourhood has been sealed off as bulldozers demolish a series of buildings.

Salaheddin mayor Hasan al-Jok, 44, stood by as workers sealed the entrance of one building with blocks of stone to prevent anyone from entering.

Residents tell him that they would rather stay, but the mayor says the risk is too high.

"Two months ago, we succeeded in completely evacuating one building and only four days later, it collapsed," Jok told AFP.

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Residents and aid workers trapped in Aleppo are describing desperate conditions and a "complete meltdown of humanity" as the Syrian army is about to regain full control of the city. President Bashar al Assad's forces, backed by Russia, have recaptured large swathes of the city in recent days and

His father, a surgeon in Aleppo , had been watching the situation in Syria get worse and worse. The center is home to 300 residents from different countries, according to its manager, Sean Corleone. Many started out in short-term emergency shelters as Germany scrambled to accommodate almost

"We feel we're responsible and we should make people aware of the need to evacuate so catastrophic incidents don't happen again," he said.

- 'Death follows us home'-

Jok says the municipality is moving evacuated residents to shelters in two other districts of Aleppo -- Bustan al-Basha near the centre, and Masaken Hanano in the east.

But "most people don't want to go to the shelters and they try to rent a smaller apartment in the same neighbourhood," he said.

The inspection committee has not released figures on the number of buildings in the district at risk of collapse, but the mayor says more than 20 buildings have been evacuated and dozens of families have been saved.

"The demolitions are only a first step," the mayor said.

In crumbling Aleppo, residents scramble for shelter© Provided by AFP Salaheddin mayor Hasan al-Jok says a major reconstruction plan is being prepared for Aleppo, with plans for tower blocks and multi-storey buildings

A major reconstruction plan is being prepared for a number of districts in Syria's second city, he added.

"There are a lot of areas in Aleppo where modern housing is planned," he said.

"They will be reconstructed with towers and multi-storey buildings".

Abdelmonem Omar, 50, was sitting on a chair outside his apartment block, smoking a hookah pipe and watching passersby.

"When the area was recaptured, people started rushing back, before it was properly inspected" for damage, he said.

A while back, "a rock fell on a woman's head, killing her instantly," he added.

"Now we're scared to even walk, and constantly looking up at buildings, fearing they'll collapse."

After years of war, "death is now following us into our homes and shops," he said.

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