Stephen O'Brien, head of the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) claimed that leaflets are being dropped on eastern Aleppo by Syrian and Russian aircraft, warning residents:

“This is your last hope. Save yourselves. If you do not leave these areas urgently, you will be annihilated. You know that everyone has given up on you. They left you alone to face your doom and nobody will give you any help.”

Newsweek claims:

The leaflets fell from the sky over Aleppo, offering dire warnings. “If you don’t leave these areas quickly,” they admonished civilians, “you will be annihilated. Save yourselves.… Everyone has left you alone to face your doom.…”

A similar claim is made by Charles Lister, in the following tweet.

If you do not leave Aleppo, you will be annihilated

Link to tweet

Did Russia warn the people of besieged East Aleppo that "If you do not leave these areas urgently, you will be annihilated"?

  • During WWII, similar leaflets were dropped over Japan. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 7, 2016 at 2:37
  • As Andrew Grimm stated, this is not new, if it did happen. Warning a populace about an impending invasion/assault on an area in an attempt to get civilians to leave and not become casualties, is a tried and true method of at least covering your butt in case you accidentally drop a bomb on a hospital......too soon? You can always point to the leaflets. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


The Syrian and Russian air force dropped the following leaflet shown below which according to BBC reporter James Longman states:

Read & repeat. If you don't leave, you'll be bombed. Save yourselves. You've been left to your own fate.

enter image description here

Before that, the following type of leaflets were dropped showing two options; A green bus or a dead body. FT.com

enter image description here


Although the exact word annihilated is not used, the leaflets indicate as such.

  • 5
    This is very similar to the leaflets the US distributed in Fallujah before Operation Phantom Fury in 2004.
    – Moo
    Dec 10, 2016 at 19:28
  • 1
    Or similar leaflets dropped over Monte Cassino in WW2.... Dec 13, 2016 at 7:40
  • 2
    Many people are aware of this, but Arabic and related languages read right to left, so they'd see the green bus before the dead body.
    – Golden Cuy
    Dec 14, 2016 at 21:51

Krishnan Guru-Murthy's report on Channel 4 News (UK) on 3 November 2016 seems fairly convincing.

He shows footage of the leaflets being dropped (4:12):

Before the bombs came war-time confetti, in elegant circles. Messages to East Aleppo. And those are the leaflets that are just being dropped by the air-force that they hope will land on East Aleppo telling them a stark warning that this is there last chance they've got to get out.

He holds a leaflet in his hand (0:24) and explains:

The Syrian and Russian air-force dropped these leaflets over East Aleppo telling people that from 9am tomorrow morning until 7pm, that is their last window to leave Aleppo. The threat is of all-out war.


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