Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

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A reporter and photographer for GlobalPost.com, Tracey Shelton, earlier this week caught some unbelievable footage of some men of the Noor Den al-Zenke batallion from Aleppo, Syria being hit by a tank’s shell. She released a quick series of screenshots from the footage as photographs today. The photos are an incredible and quite horrific example of war.

“As the cloud of smoke engulfed the street we ran back and frantically waited for the others to escape through the dust and debris. But no one came. In that split second, three men were reduced to broken, bleeding masses. After a few minutes of disorientation, a vehicle arrived to transport the bodies. The survivors washed away the blood and flesh in a heartbreaking clean-up. New fighters came to take their posts. And the battle continued,” Tracey Shelton reports on GlobalPost.com.

ALEPPO, Syria — Their names were Issa, Ahmed and Sheik Mahmoud Qasim. They were fathers and brothers. They were students, teachers and laborers.

And, last week, they were all killed by tank fire.

They are not alone. The Syrian conflict has now dragged on for 18 months and cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. The dead represent all kinds — civilians, rebel fighters, regime soldiers and officials, aid workers, activists, journalists.

Headlines that track the numbers of dead are easy to pass over when they are so frequent. But sometimes a moment is captured that communicates the tragedy of events in a way that is impossible to ignore, or forget.

In this video and photo series, GlobalPost senior correspondent Tracey Shelton tells the story of Issa, Ahmed and Qasim in the days before, and then at the very moment, they are killed in their back-alley post on the front lines of Aleppo, Syria:

On the morning of their death, the men joked as they cleaned their post from a tank attack the day before. That time, they had been prepared and the tank had fired too short. This time, the assault came with little warning.

More info: tracey shelton | globalpost.com

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels:

From left to right: Issa Aiash, 30, father of three, his young brother Ahmed, 17, and Sheihk Mamoud, 42, father of a newborn son, laugh and joke as they clean their post on Saturday.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

A call comes through that a tank was spotted nearby. The men immediately grab weapons.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

Within seconds the tank blast has already hit.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

Debris and smoke fill the street around 30 meters back – covering me and the camera in dust.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

This man was the only survivor.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

He escaped with injuries.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

Story and images by Tracey Shelton – GlobalPost

It took several minutes before the dust cleared enough to check for more survivors, but there was nothing we could do.

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels

Life and death in Aleppo: Photographer Tracey Shelton Captures The Exact Moment Tank Shell Hit Syrian Rebels – photovide.com

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