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Egyptian police arrest five people for using children to stage fake 'Aleppo' footage

Amateurish photos and video taken at demolition site show little girl with red stains on a white dress and bandages being interviewed about life in the war-torn Syrian city

Five people in Port Said allegedly making fake videos purporting to show the wreckage of air strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo have been arrested, the Egyptian Interior Ministry has said.

The videographer, his assistants and the parents of two children who appear in the footage were detained after police managed to trail the would-be camera crew to a building site awaiting demolition, a statement on Monday said.

The team reportedly admitted they had planned to distribute their work on social media, pretending it showed scenes of the injured and destruction in Aleppo, the embattled northern Syrian city which has just fallen back under government control after four years of fighting between the regime and Sunni rebels.

It was not immediately clear what charges had been brought against the five. The Independent has contacted the Egyptian authorities for clarification.

In the distinctly amateur raw videos and stills released by the Interior Ministry, an eight-year-old girl wears a white dress and bandages covered in red stains, and holds a teddy bear. A 12-year-old boy is also interviewed about what life is like under intensive Russian-backed Syrian government air strikes.

The girl’s dress, covered in red paint, was what caught the attention of a police officer driving by, the ministry said. 

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A camera and six mobile phones were seized at the scene. The photographer is still being held while authorities go through the material, officials said, but the other four suspects were released on bail.

Syrian activists and White Helmets rescue workers, until recently trapped inside east Aleppo’s siege barricades, have frequently been accused by critics of faking harrowing footage of the aftermath of bombings and digging survivors from rubble that have frequently emerged from the war-torn city.

Many other videos and photos of incidents reportedly from Aleppo which circulate on social media are staged or filmed elsewhere, both the Syrian government and its allies say.

Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces stands next to a tank in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they recaptured the area. AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. AFP/Getty Images
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a graveyard in east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)
TOPSHOT - Syrian opposition fighters fire towards positions held by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in al-Bab on the northeastern outskirts of the northern embattled city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Saleh ABO GHALOUNSALEH ABO GHALOUN/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian pro-government forces walk in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood after they captured the area in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces walks in eastern Aleppo's al-Kalasseh neighbourhood on December 13, 2016. Civilians and opposition fighters will start evacuating east Aleppo "within hours" under a deal with Syria's regime, a rebel official said, as global outrage mounted over reports of atrocities including summary executions. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A Lebanese woman holds a paper in Arabic that read "Aleppo" as she chants slogans, during a sit-in to express solidarity with residents of the Syrian city of Aleppo, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on the attacks in eastern Aleppo, where Syrian government forces appear poised to take the last rebel holdouts. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
A Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded after a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Abdullah al-Yassin, File)
A Syrian child cooks in the street in a rebel-held area of Aleppo, on December 13, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Aleppo's citadel on December 13, 2016, after government forces captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces walks at Aleppo's citadel on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Aleppo's citadel on December 13, 2016, after government forces captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian boy is seen among other civilains leaving a rebel-held area of Aleppo towards the government-held side on December 13, 2016 during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRIKARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian and Lebanese activists hold papers in Arabic that read "Aleppo," during a sit-in to express solidarity with residents of the Syrian city of Aleppo, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on the attacks in eastern Aleppo, where Syrian government forces appear poised to take the last rebel holdouts. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Syrian pro-government forces stand on a tank near the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-government forces stand on a tank near the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo in the foreground and the city's citadel in the background on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows destruction in the ancient market of the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after pro-government forces captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian army soldier places a Syrian national flag during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
Smoke rises following a Syrian government air strike on rebel positions, in eastern Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian child cooks in the street in a rebel-held area of Aleppo, on December 13, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo in the foreground and the city's citadel in the background on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
In this photo, provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man, right, runs for cover from a Syrian government forces airstrike attack, in Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 27, 2014 . (Aleppo Media Center, AMC, via AP, File)
A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo in the foreground and the city's citadel in the background on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / Youssef KARWASHANYOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo in the foreground and the city's citadel in the background on December 13, 2016, after pro-government forces captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian civilians leave towards safer rebel-held areas in Aleppo, on December 13, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian child cooks in the street in a rebel-held area of Aleppo, on December 13, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian civilians leave towards safer rebel-held areas in Aleppo, on December 13, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm over reports of atrocities against civilians Monday, as the battle for Aleppo entered its final phase with Syrian government forces on the verge of retaking rebel-held areas of the city. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces walks holding a Syrian flag in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016 after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian pro-government forces take a selfie in the courtyard of the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian pro-regime fighters, gesture as they drive past residents fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian civilians flee the Sukkari neighbourhood towards safer rebel-held areas in southeastern Aleppo, on December 12, 2016, during an operation by Syrian government forces to retake the embattled city. The crucial battle for Aleppo entered its "final phase" after Syrian rebels retreated into a small pocket of their former bastion in the face of new army advances. The retreat leaves opposition fighters confined to just a handful of neighbourhoods in southeast Aleppo, the largest of them Sukkari and Mashhad. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-government forces walk in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces walks in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-government forces walk in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood after they captured the area in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-government forces walk in the Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on December 13, 2016, after they captured the area. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-government forces walk in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood after they captured the area in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian woman leaves Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood after pro-government forces captured the area in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A member of the Syrian government forces stands in a severely damaged street in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian government forces walk in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian government forces warms his hands on a fire in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian government forces walk in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian government forces stands in a severely damaged street in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, keep warm next to a fire as they arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Syrian government forces stands in a severely damaged street in Aleppo's newly captured Al-Kalasseh neighbourhood in the eastern part of the war torn city on December 13, 2016. After weeks of heavy fighting, regime forces were poised to take full control of Aleppo, dealing the biggest blow to Syria's rebellion in more than five years of civil war. / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIANGEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian pro-regime fighter speaks with a child, as residents flee violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian pro-regime fighters, gesture as they drive past resident fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian woman, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, reacts as she stands with her children in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2016 People walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Kalasa in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 28, 2016. The death toll from an upsurge of fighting in Syria's second city Aleppo rose despite a plea by the UN envoy for the warring sides to respect a February ceasefire. / AFP PHOTO / AMEER ALHALBIAMEER ALHALBI/AFP/Getty Images
AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2016 Fighters from the Free Syrian Army take part in a battle against the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in the northern Syrian village of Yahmoul in the Marj Dabiq area north of the embattled city of Aleppo on October 10, 2016. Syria's main opposition group called for foreign allies to supply rebel forces with ground-to-air weapons to counter deadly air raids in Aleppo. / AFP PHOTO / Nazeer al-KhatibNAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images
AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2016 Syrian men carrying babies make their way through the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held Salihin neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo, on September 11, 2016. Air strikes have killed dozens in rebel-held parts of Syria as the opposition considers whether to join a US-Russia truce deal due to take effect on September 12. / AFP PHOTO / AMEER ALHALBIAMEER ALHALBI/AFP/Getty Images

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