Syrian girl with viral Twitter account trapped in Aleppo, family worried army will target them
The mother of seven-year-old Bana Al-abed, a Syrian girl with a viral Twitter account, made an emotional plea for help Wednesday, claiming their family had received death threats.
Fatemah Al-abed – who helps run the Twitter account, sharing images of war-torn Aleppo from her family’s point-of-view – tweeted that she and her family feared for their lives, worried that the Syrian army will target them due to their account.
“[Bana and I] received death threats and we are convinced Syrian Army will target us soon because of our account and messages,” she wrote.
“We are today appealing to the world, to everyone to do something for me, Bana, my family & the remaining people inside East Aleppo to make sure we get out of Aleppo safe and unharmed by the advancing Syrian Army forces.”
On Monday, the family’s home was destroyed during heavy bombardments. Shortly after the bombing, Bana and her mother tweeted a message reading “this could be our last days sincerely talking” and said goodbye to their social media following.
Bana, who reportedly suffered minor injuries during the bombardment, shared an image of the rubble that was once her home Tuesday, confirming her family was still alive.
Bana’s Twitter account went viral in October. Since then, she and her mother have taken to the social network to share the horrors of living in Aleppo through pictures, videos and text updates describing the devastation surrounding them.
“I want to let the world know about our life here,” Fatemah told Global News in a direct message on Twitter in October.
“I want people to know that we are suffering here and [they] should stand up for us.”
It was just last week that Bana garnered international attention after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling answered her plea that she wanted to read the wizarding series.
WATCH: Syrian girl whose Twitter account went viral tours war-torn Aleppo
The humanitarian crisis in Aleppo took a dramatic turn this week, with an increase in air strikes and bombardments. The Syrian army and its allies announced the capture of a large swath of eastern Aleppo from rebels earlier this week, in an attack that threatens to crush the opposition in its most important urban stronghold.
On Wednesday, artillery fire struck a housing area for displaced residents the eastern part of the city, killing at least 21 civilians, as another eight were killed in shelling on the government-held western side of the city, according to state media.
WATCH: Civilians flee Aleppo neighbourhood of Sakhour by the hundreds amid renewed fighting
The president of the besieged city’s local council has pleaded that government assaults be halted in order to create a safe passage for trapped civilians to leave.
“The civilians are calling for the world to help. In the name of humanity let the civilians leave the city. Help the civilians! Protect the civilians!” said Brita Hagi Hasan, speaking at a news conference held with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.
An estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped in Aleppo.
— With files from Reuters
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