A Twitter account claiming to belong to a seven-year-old girl, Bana Alabed, and her mother, Fatemah, has been tweeting live updates from Aleppo, the epicentre of Syria’s brutal civil war.
The account, first created in September 2016, shows the harrowing reality civilians in Aleppo face daily. The account has already racked up a substantial 145,000 followers on the social media platform.
On Sunday, Bana tweeted that the house she was staying in was bombed and that she witnessed people dying as a result.
In another tweet posted on Saturday, Bana wrote that it had been a “difficult afternoon” in east Aleppo, and posted a video that seems to show smoke billowing out from a building in the area.
Aleppo has been a hotbed of conflict throughout the Syrian civil war as multiple groups fight for control of what was once Syria’s most populous city. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian backers have launched a scorched-earth offensive on Aleppo in an effort to wipe out rebel holdouts in the city.
The Syrian regime and its Russian backers also stand accused of launching airstrikes that hit hospitals, schools, and local rescue centres, though Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin have insisted that the offensives have only targeted militants.
Civilians in Aleppo increasingly face food, healthcare, and education shortages as the fighting drags on. Russia has announced brief pauses in bombing the city, but has not coordinated with UN aide convoys to allow food in.
In October, the US suspended bilateral talks on Syria with Russia after the bombing of humanitarian aide convoy headed to the city by Syrian or Russian jets.
“Please allow [food] for the thousands starving here. Why is it a problem?” Fatemah Alabed tweeted on Friday.
On Monday, pro-Assad forces announced that they had wrested control of a large swathe of eastern Aleppo from rebel forces in a major offensive that hopes to crush the opposition, but will also bring more destruction to city.
The latest tweet from the account was posted on the same day Syrian government forces captured part of eastern Aleppo, and seems to respond to Assad’s latest advance.
“[W]e are on the run as many people [were] killed right now in heavy bombardments,” the tweet, written on Monday by Fatemah, read.
It continued: “We are fighting for our lives. [S]till with you.”
Message – we are on the run as many people killed right now in heavy bombardments. We are fighting for our lives. still with you.- Fatemah
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) November 28, 2016