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  1. ITV Report

The desperate Aleppo citizens trapped in 'medieval and shameful' conditions as humanitarian catastrophe unfolds

  • Warning: some viewers may find this video distressing

ITV News has spoken to the desperate citizens of Aleppo as the UN calls for "critical" 48-hour ceasefires to ease the suffering.

More than 200,000 are said to be trapped in the besieged Syrian city in "medieval and shameful" conditions.

The UN is calling for urgent 48-hour weekly ceasefires in Syria' second city, where road blockades by government forces restrict what can reach the city's desperate inhabitants.

Food is expected to run out in mid-August, and hospitals continue to come under attack.

Aleppo has been hit by airstrikes

The UN's humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Monday that he could not stress enough "how critical the situation is" as he called for weekly 48-hour ceasefires to deliver aid.

"This is medieval and shameful," he said.

"We must not allow this to happen. But the clock is ticking."

People queue for bread in rebel-held Aleppo Credit: Reuters

Syria has been in the grip of civil war since 2011, during which - according to latest estimates - more than 470,000 people (1 in 10 Syrians) have been killed.

  • Hospitals targeted by airstrikes
The damage after an air-strike on a hospital on Sunday Credit: Reuters

Last year, there were 135 air raid attacks on medical facilities across Syria.

Over the weekend there were six attacks on hospitals in Aleppo alone - one causing the death of two-day old baby.

According to figures, 11.5% of Syria’s population has now been wounded or killed since the conflict began in five years ago.

336
Recorded attacks on medical facilities since 2011
697
Medical personnel reported to be killed during Syria's civil war
  • Nowhere safe from bomb attacks
The grieving face of a man whose wife and baby were killed in an air strike Credit: AMC

Children are being pulled from the rubble of bombed buildings; some alive, some dead.

Some residents question why their neighbourhoods are the targets of air raids when there is nothing there by way of military centres.

Qussai, a nursery worker, told us: "I don’t understand why there is this silence. I don’t understand why Assad and the Russians come here and damage our city".

The Red Cross estimates that the latest fighting has displaced 50,000 Syrians in Aleppo, with around 30,000 gathering near Syria's Turkish border, which remains closed.

But some are convinced people will still remain in the city, despite the siege.

"I think that people in Aleppo are still steadfast and are determined to stay here," one civilian said.

"But the situation is very dangerous because Aleppo is about to be besieged.

"The al-Assad regime and its allies are getting closer to besiegement."

  • Food and medicine withheld
Children hold hands in war-torn Aleppo Credit: ITV News

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad captured a key area overlooking the last remaining road into the eastern section of Aleppo on June 7.

While rebel authorities have stockpiled food and other supplies, food is now scarce for ordinary people in Aleppo. The blockades have caused prices of basic staples such as bread and potatoes to soar, making them unaffordable for many.

Opposition figures warn 300,000 people could be at risk of starvation.

A man holds bread as a Syria rebel fighter stands guard Credit: Reuters
600,000
People considered living under siege in Syria

"This circle is considered the entrance of Aleppo. Few medicine and food is coming into Aleppo from this road", English lecturer Abdulkafi Alhamdo told us.

"Al-Assad forces and Russian airplanes are trying to control this road to besiege Aleppo, to besiege more than 100,000 people here inside Aleppo.

"Those civilians are in danger of a lack of food, medicine and everything," he said.

"And all the world is silent towards these things. These crimes."