East Aleppo, Syria – I came to Aleppo three months ago to report on the state of the city after rebel fighters from Jaysh al-Fath [Army of Conquest] had broken the siege by Assad’s forces. While sitting with the OGN crew, which included myself, Abdus Samad, a journalist from Germany, and Muhammad Ghazi, a journalist from Gaza, we discussed a possible three-man trip to the city to cover how life had changed for the residents who had been besieged. We packed our clothes and equipment for a three-day stay. The rebels had just broken the siege, so what could go wrong?
We drove to the outskirts of Aleppo and stopped at a spot where trucks that provide water to private homes fill up their tanks. There was a dry field beside the water station and we decided to use the mud from the field to completely cover our car. The rebels may have broken the siege but the skies were still owned by the government forces, and aircraft seemed to fire on any vehicles trying to get in or out of the city.