Speed Reads

Crisis in Syria

Rescue group says streets of eastern Aleppo are 'full with dead bodies'

Several areas in rebel-held eastern Aleppo were captured by Syrian government forces on Monday.

Ismail Abdallah of the volunteer search and rescue team Syrian Civil Defense told CNN that rebels are still putting up a fight in some sections of the city, but there is a "mass exodus of terrified civilians fleeing from al-Fardous, al-Jaloom, al-Salheine, and areas that have been captured today." Neighborhoods across eastern Aleppo have been pummeled by airstrikes, and Abdallah said he believes there could be a "large number of civilian casualties," but his White Helmets volunteers are unable to reach areas that have been hard hit. On Twitter, the Syrian Civil Defense group said entire streets and buildings are "full with dead bodies," and they hear children calling for help but they can't reach them due to continuous bombing.

Over the weekend, an estimated 10,000 civilians fled eastern Aleppo, and it's thought 100,000 remain. On Syrian state television, footage was shown of residents celebrating as the government took control of their neighborhood. International leaders have been trying to put together a cease-fire, and Pope Francis is also appealing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, asking him to "ensure that international humanitarian law is fully respected with regard to the protection of the civilians and access to humanitarian aid."