Yesterday’s deal to evacuate the remaining civilians trapped in East Aleppo has collapsed.

Civilians stayed up all night awaiting evacuation but buses stood and idle and returned empty on Wednesday morning. Iran-backed militias reportedly prevented civilians and opposition fighters from leaving the besieged city. Shelling and airstrikes by pro-regime militias and Russia have resumed.

Journalists are reporting that cluster bombs and vacuum bombs are targeting civilian homes. Medics that had been preparing for hours to get badly injured patients ready for departure are now trapped under heavy fire and are struggling to deal with new casualties.

Terrified residents who had hoped that their nightmare had come to an end are now desperately seeking shelter amid airstrikes. It is still unclear if residents will be allowed to leave and whether the deal will hold. According to Syrian Journalist Zouhir Al Shimale, regime media is reporting that it will resume its attacks until all of Eastern Aleppo is taken.

Unless there is a safe and secure evacuation out of Aleppo, there is a risk that the remaining trapped civilians will be killed or detained.