Syrians in Aleppo are posting their final goodbyes on Twitter after reports of mass executions as the crucial battle for the city appeared to be entering its final phase.
Syrian rebels were said to have retreated into a small pocket of their former bastion in the face of new army advances with President Bashar al-Assad's forces in control of more than 90 per cent of the city.
Civilians used Twitter to tell the world about their ordeal and to call on the international community to help them.
The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, which provides emergency help in the city, also posted messages of defiance as government forces stood on the verge of victory.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement expressing his alarm at unverified reports of atrocities against large numbers of Aleppo residents.
A Syrian military official in Aleppo said late Monday: "We're living the final moments before victory."
"The operation in eastern neighbourhoods is entering its final phase", he said earlier, as fierce clashes were reported in the few districts still under rebel control.
The fall of Aleppo would be the worst rebel defeat since Syria's conflict began in 2011, and leave the government in control of the country's five major cities.
Syria's rebels seized control of east Aleppo in 2012, a year into an uprising that began with anti-government protests but spiralled into a complex multi-front conflict which has left 300,000 people dead and millions displaced.
The government assault on Aleppo has killed at least 415 civilians since mid-November, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.