An ancient mosque that once stood proudly in the centre of Aleppo in Syria has been reduced to rubble as a ceasefire has begun effectively ending the brutal four year battle for the city.
The once grand Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, also known as the ‘Great Mosque’ have revealed how it now lies in ruins.
It comes as a ceasefire deal has been struck between the pro-Syrian government forces and the rebels for them and the civilians still living there to evacuate the city safely.
This means that the battle for Aleppo, one of the worst of a civil war that has drawn in global and regional powers, has ended with victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military coalition of Russia, Iran and regional Shi’ite militias.
By taking full control of Aleppo, Assad has proved the power of his military coalition, aided by Russia’s air force and an array of Shi’ite militias backed by Iran.
“Over the last hour we have received information that the military activities in east Aleppo have stopped, it has stopped,” said Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin late on Tuesday at a heated meeting of the UN Security Council. “The Syrian government has established control over east Aleppo.”
Meanwhile, Syrian forces were accused of ‘massacring 82 civilians in their homes’ during ‘the century’s worst humanitarian tragedy’.
As reports of further atrocities emerged from Aleppo, France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said ‘the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century is unfolding before our eyes’.
Meanwhile, Aleppo citizens have posted harrowing ‘death bulletins’ pleading for help from the outside word as Syrian government forces swept through the city.
Terrified residents filmed themselves describing their plight in the besieged city with one doctor calling the situation ‘apocalyptic’ and another saying: ‘This may be my last video’.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, addressing the security council on the situation in Aleppo on Tuesday evening, said it was wishful thinking to believe that military advances would solve Syria’s crisis, and called for an immediate end to violence by all sides.