As the four-month siege of eastern Aleppo neared its end, some survivors trudged in the rain past dead bodies to the government-held west or the few districts still in rebel hands.
Others stayed in their homes and awaited the Syrian army's arrival.
For all of them, fear of arrest, conscription or summary execution had added to the daily terror of bombardment.
"People are saying the troops have lists of families of fighters and are asking them if they had sons with the terrorists. (They are) then either left or shot and left to die," said Abu Malek al-Shamali in Seif al-Dawla, one of the last rebel-held neighbourhoods.
The United Nations said it had reports that Syrian government troops and their Iraqi militia allies had killed civilians in eastern Aleppo, including 82 people in four different neighbourhoods in the last few days.