Seven-year-old Bana Alabed, along with her mother Fatemah, have finally been evacuated from Aleppo.
Bana, with the help of her mother, has been tweeting the horror of life in Aleppo since September. She has told stories of her brother crying because of falling bombs, how she likes to read to forget the war, and how she almost died after shelling in eastern Aleppo destroyed her house.
The evacuation began in earnest on Thursday, but broke down after convoys and civilians reportedly came under fire. It resumed late on Sunday; among those to leave was Alabed, the Syrian American Medical Society confirmed. Her evacuation comes two days after she and her mother sent a video message to first lady Michelle Obama for help.”I talk to you as a mother,” Fatemah says in the message. “I implore you to help us … because we are so afraid.”
The UN has reached a deal (paywall), on which the security council will vote today, to allow UN monitors to observe the evacuation process. But they’d need to do it in consultation with soldiers and militia on the ground, who could turn them away.
More than 2,700 children have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo in the past 24 hours, according to Unicef. Many were sick, wounded or without their parents.
As the Syrian army closed in on Aleppo and pushed rebels from their small enclaves, Bana and Fatemah Alabed were among many civilians and activists to tweet their final messages. They had desperately called on the international community to act. But Syrian president Bashar Assad had dismissed Bana and her mother, saying she was not a credible source and her tweets were promoted by “terrorists or their supporters.”