Channel 4 News filmmaker Wa’ad al Kateab, her doctor husband and 11-month-old baby girl are among up to 50,000 people still trapped inside the ever-shrinking enclave of rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
They are stuck in Aleppo’s last functioning hospital along with a small handful of other medical staff, a few dozen activists and dozens of injured people who are sprawled across the floor in an extremely perilous state, some said to be slowly dying.
The last convoy that attempted to leave this morning with 400 people in 20 vehicles seems to have passed through a Russian checkpoint before being stopped by Shia militia fighters with tanks.
The accompanying representatives of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were apparently forced to leave. Young men of fighting age were picked out from the convoy, buses were searched and mobile phones, valuables and documents confiscated.
There are unconfirmed reports that up to three of the men pulled from the buses were killed on the spot, and that the pregnant wife of one of those who was killed was dragged away and arrested after putting up “resistance”.
After four hours, the buses were sent back to eastern Aleppo. Since then, no other convoy has left and Russia has declared that all those who wanted to leave have done so, despite thousands who are still awaiting safe passage out. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for a resumption of the evacuation.
France’s Ambassador to the United Nations says his country and Germany have called an emergency meeting of the Security Council to consider the situation in Aleppo.