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The New Arab

Syria troops brag on video about looting Aleppo homes

The relentless barrage has left Aleppo's streets strewn with dead bodies [Facebook]

Date of publication: 1 December, 2016

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A video has emerged this week of Syrian regime soldiers bragging about stealing copper wiring, household appliances and furniture from abandoned homes in east Aleppo.
A video emerged this week of Syrian regime soldiers bragging about stealing copper wiring, household appliances and furniture from abandoned homes in east Aleppo.

The mobile phone footage shows a bus full of armed regime troops boasting about pillaging homes as tens of thousands of residents fled from the rebel-held east.

"All of you guys will be busy ransacking! It's incredible. I am going to assign the jobs as we pillage," an excited soldier filming the scene can be heard saying.

One soldier responds saying, "You guys are really going to pull out the cables?" to which the man behind the camera says: "God won't forgive anyone who leaves a cable behind!"

"God won't forgive whoever leaves behind a washing machine," a soldier jokingly answers back.

Another soldier can be heard talking on his mobile phone saying: "We are on the way to storm east Aleppo".

The New Arab could not independently verify the contents of the video.

Hundreds of elite Syrian troops moved into east Aleppo on Thursday ahead of a push into the most densely populated areas, as regime ally Russia called for exit corridors to evacuate civilians.

The New Arab Syria correspondent Lubna Salem reported that the pillaging of civilian homes has become a standard practice of the Syrian army, taking place with the consent of military leadership.

"Regime soldiers have recently looted homes in the Aleppo districts of al-Hamdaniyeh and New Aleppo," Salem said.

Regime affiliated media have blamed the incidents of looting on "thugs" and "gangs".

Despite global criticism including the UN warning Aleppo risked becoming a "giant graveyard", government forces have pressed an assault to retake control of the divided city.

The offensive – backed by artillery – has spurred an exodus of tens of thousands of residents from the rebel-held east.

The relentless barrage has left Aleppo's streets strewn with the bodies of men, women and children, many lying next to the suitcases they had packed to escape.

Steady artillery fire could again be heard pounding rebel areas early Thursday, with heavy rainfall adding to the misery.

The assault has seen President Bashar al-Assad's forces make significant gains in the last week.

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