While people go about their daily lives in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, they risk being killed by terrorist attacks daily, RT’s Lizzie Phelan learned during her interviews with locals. The reporter witnessed mortar shells landing hundreds of meters away.
Despite businesses and social services working, there is not a safe place in Aleppo as mortars fired by the militants can land almost anywhere, RT’s reporter revealed in her latest footage from the city.
A local journalist drove Phelan around the government-held western part of Aleppo, showing the destruction caused by the conflict, and the street life that continues in spite of it.
Phelan’s live Periscope of the tour stream vowed the viewers, some of whom couldn’t believe it was showing a warzone. The scene looked deceptively quiet, with people going out, shopping or sitting in cafes smoking shisha.
But the frontline is some 500 meters away and there is a constant threat of shelling coming from parts of the city controlled by the militants. Several apparent blasts were actually captured during the live stream, while Phelan also stopped by numerous sites that had been shelled.
The locals are refusing to leave their home city, although many have been forced to leave their neighborhoods that turned into an active warzone or had been occupied by Islamists.
Some schools and hospitals continue to work. While by no means feeling safe, the people have gotten used to the constant threat of shelling. Phelan witnessed a landing of a shell just a block away, with smoke rising above the city, all the while children continued to swim in a school pool.
Aleppo remains split between the government forces and the militants since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. Syria and Russia have recently begun a large-scale humanitarian operation to open special exit corridors for civilians, while Damascus also offered amnesty for militants laying down their arms. Moscow has also backed a proposal from the UN Syria envoy to conduct weekly 48-hour ceasefires so as to deliver relief aid to Aleppo residents.