One of the UN's top envoys warned that the people of Aleppo "don’t have the means to survive for much longer" as Syrian state forces, Russian forces and the Islamic State encroach on the eastern side of the city.
“For the sake of humanity, we call on, we plead, with the parties, and those with influence, to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard,” emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council in an emergency meeting on Wednesday.
"I urge you all for political solution so that we can give some semblance of hope to the many millions of Syrian families who will not sleep tonight, but will be hungry, sick, and fearing for their lives," he added.
O'Brien said that just that morning, dozens of civilians were killed in a single airstrike and that 25,000 people have been forced to flee the eastern part of the city since Saturday.
Extremely concerned about fate of civilians in E #Aleppo city. Besieged for nearly 150 days & don’t have means to survive for much longer
— Stephen O'Brien (@UNReliefChief) November 30, 2016
Eastern Aleppo has been a stronghold for rebel forces in the region for years. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been working at reclaiming the area over the past few months.
Two weeks ago, the Aleppo Health Directorate said in a statement that the few remaining hospitals in the area were out of service due to continuous bombing.
A local activist told Amnesty International that families living in the area were unable to escape when government forces advanced and that many fear retaliation.
“I know some of the families and they told me that they are now in their homes and afraid to move around because Syrian government soldiers are everywhere,” Fadi said, according to the organization.
Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed and over 12 million displaced, according to the UN.