Thousands flee Syrian rebel enclave as war marks grim seven-year milestone

The last of the messages from inside the besieged Eastern Ghouta neighbourhood of Hammouriyeh came in the dead of the night on Wednesday.

“More than 5,000 people are at risk of annihilation,” the doctor wrote in a breathless text. “Please get our voice out to the world, this might be the last message I’m able to send.

“The wounded are in the streets and the planes are targeting anything that moves,” he said. “The regime forces came from the east side. I tried to escape but I couldn’t. I witnessed an entire family getting killed by an air strike in front of me. I’m by a basement now trying to send this to you.”

The internet connection in the town went down shortly after, and by Thursday morning…

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