Seven-year-old Syria war symbol evacuated from Aleppo
Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, whose Twitter account has offered a tragic account of the war in Syria, was evacuated from the divided Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday, a Turkish NGO announced on social media.
“This morning @AlabedBana was also rescued from #Aleppo with her family. We warmly welcomed them,” the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) wrote on its Twitter account, sharing an IHH aid worker’s selfie picture with the girl.
For her tens of thousands of followers, Bana is a symbol of the tragedy unfolding in Syria, although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has slammed her and her mother’s nearly daily tweets as propaganda.
Bana’s account has posted pictures of the destruction in Aleppo including her rubble-littered street, while people have tweeted messages of support and concern, notably fearing for her life when tweets became less frequent.
At least 15,000 children are among the more than 300,000 people who have been killed in Syria’s five-year war.
Tarakji Ahmad, president of Syrian American Medical Society, also posted a picture of Bana, with an aid worker.
“@AlabedBana and many children arrived to #Aleppo countryside. @sams_usa@UOSSM and partners arr coordinating the response plan there,” he tweeted, also announcing the evacuation.
Bana’s last tweet with her mother Fatemah before the evacuation made an appeal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for putting a fragile ceasefire back on track after frequent delays.
“Dear @MevlutCavusoglu & @RT_Erdogan please please please make this ceasefire work & get us out now. We are so tired. – Fatemah #Aleppo.”
Responding in a tweet Monday, Cavusoglu wrote: “Difficulties on the ground won’t deter us sister. Rest assured that we are doing all to get you and thousands of others to safety.”
An IHH spokesman confirmed to AFP that the young girl was among the first batch of evacuees Friday morning, and was at Rashidin region at the moment.
“She is likely to be transferred to the camps in Idlib province,” he said.
The Islamic charity IHH is playing a large role in the transport of aid for Aleppo as well as the transfer of evacuated Syrians into camps in the Idlib province near the Turkish border.
Evacuation from the rebel-held areas of Aleppo has restarted after further delays, which put on hold the ceasefire agreement brokered by Turkey and Russia.
Over 3,000 people — in two convoys of around 20 vehicles — left eastern sections of Aleppo on Monday, after around 350 people got out during the night, marking the first departures since Friday.