Anas al-Basha 'lived to make children laugh in the darkest place on this earth'
A charity volunteer who dressed up as a clown to comfort traumatised children in war-torn Aleppo was reportedly killed in a pro-government airstrike on the Mashhad neighbourhood, in the besieged and bombed-out eastern side of the city, on Tuesday.
Anas al-Basha, 24, refused to leave the ravaged rebel enclave in order to "bring hope for the children" as pro-government forces advanced on the city.
"All Anas wanted was to bring happiness to the children of Aleppo," his brother Mahmoud wrote in a heart-wrenching tribute to the social worker who stayed in "hell" to support hundreds of hopeless children through the local charity Space for Hope.
"He lived to make children laugh and make them happy in the darkest, most dangerous place on this earth.
"I was not able to say the last farewell to him because Aleppo city has been under seige for 112 days.
"I am proud of you my brother. May you rest in peace, better than this cruel world," concluded Mahmoud on Facebook.
More than 300 civilians, including dozens of children, have been killed in east Aleppo since the government began its offensive on 15 November, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.