Photographers risking their lives to capture Syrian war

Photographers are ensuring the world stays witness to the razing of Aleppo, the Syrian city once known as a cradle of civilisation.

Ameer al-Halbi, 21, is a local freelance photographer who was just a teenager when the war began.

"My job is show the wounded faces of children as they are pulled from the rubble, or the kids who are without an education," he said.

Airstrikes, bombs, and bullets have pounded the city relentlessly in the wake of the uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring.

The fighting has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced more than half the population and led to the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

"I often wake up in the morning to the sounds of shelling, in my neighbourhood, and just this month 15 buildings have collapsed," al-Halbi said.

The Syrian conflict is one of the first where raw footage can be beamed around the world within minutes of being uploaded.

Journalists and other media workers are under constant threat too, and al-Halbi was shot twice in the back in 2012, along with his cousin and father.

"Ten days ago a rocket landed close to me and I was hit by shrapnel while I was filming a massacre in the Bab al-Nairab neighbourhood," he said.

"I was one of the first on the scene, the dead were everywhere.

Aside from the threat of airstrikes and kidnappings, the practicalities of reporting under wartime conditions cannot be underestimated.

"I often have great difficulty transferring images to agencies due to a lack of internet and electricity," al-Halbi said.

Syrian conflict leaves no-one unharmed

Al-Halbi often travels with the White Helmets, volunteers who dig through the rubble to rescue civilians out of bombed out houses, streets, and hospitals.

It is dangerous work but they have saved an estimated 60,000 people across Syria.

His father, Muhammad Mashadi, was killed while volunteering with the White Helmets earlier this year.

"He was trying to help those under the rubble when [the warplanes] came back," al-Halbi said.

"Daily life has become a deadly routine."

Photographers act as eyes of the world

Media outlets rely on Syrian photojournalists who document the daily struggle for survival amid a deluge of airstrikes, barrel bombs and sniper fire.

Mario Goldman, the Middle East photo coordinator with Agence France-Presse, said the "stringers" on the ground were "essential".

"They don't attract any attention like a foreigner could do, they're like fish in the water giving their local perspective of the reality that they want show to the world," Mr Goldman said.

Al-Halbi feels helpless as the fighting continues.

"But I can't lose hope that my photos will change something."

photo Photographers risking their lives to capture Syrian war images

photo of Photographers risking their lives to capture Syrian war

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