Civil wars are never pleasant and the world was reminded of that fact today when photos of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, injured in an air strike on the rebel-held Qaterji neighborhood were released to the media today.
Images released as stills from a video of his rescue
The boy, who was only mildly injured, is putting a face on the tragedy that is the Syrian Civil War now in its fifth year that has claimed the lives of an estimated 400,000 people. Most recently, the city and province of Aleppo has seen the brunt of fighting between forces of Assad’s military and rebels looking to oust the strongman. The photographs of the child show him in horrible shape and covered in the dust from the rubble that was once is home following an airstrike by either the Russians or the Syrian military.
The Syrian kid was taken to a hospital known as M10, where doctors work bravely and nearly nonstop to help the victims of the fighting. Their work is almost as thankless as it is necessary and few doctors remain in the besieged city.
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The fighting has reached a point where it has stymied the efforts to get humanitarian aid to the city to the frustration of many relief groups and the United Nations. A couple of weeks ago a Russian helicopter was also shot down after it had delivered much needed aid to the city.
The UN envoy, Staffan de Mistura, said there was “no sense” holding a meeting chaired by the United States and Russia seeking a 48 cease fire in the city to deliver aid to those unfortunate enough to be trapped in the city of Aleppo.
Following the airstrike that found the Syrian kid buried in rubble, journalists and aid workers alike rushed to the site.
“We were passing them from one balcony to the other,” said Mahmoud Raslan, the photojournalist who shot the video and recounted his story to the Associated Press.
Franky, the child was lucking to be alive and was rescued along with the entirety of his immediately family, which was rescued following the collapse of his apartment building.
“We sent the younger children immediately to the ambulance, but the 11-year-old girl waited for her mother to be rescued. Her ankle was pinned beneath the rubble,” Raslan said.
Others not so lucky
According to a doctor where the Syrian kid was treated for his injuries, five children and three adults were killed in the same airstrike which caused the building’s collapse.
“That little boy in the back of the ambulance, alone and dazed. Bloody awful. What can we do??” asked Labor party member David Baines after viewing the original tweet sent by Telegraph reporter Raf Sanchez.
While Russia has announced that they will suspend airstrikes for three hours each day in Aleppo, they have truly picked up the frequency of attacks, and in a nearly unprecedented move have been launching these attacks from an airbase in Iran marking the first time that that has occurred since the Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s that saw a prolonged hostage situation after the United Embassy in Tehran was taken.
Often, the horror of the Syrian Civil War is lost to the rise and fall of ISIS and the scourge of terrorism around the world that the group takes credit for, it’s far too easy to forget that woman and children, hell, a nation have been lost in the struggle and require the aid and safe havens or nations around the world.
This is a five year old boy that presidential hopeful Donald Trump would bar entry to the United States simply because he was born in Aleppo. This child is harmless and likely not terrifically different than your average five year old outside of the horror that is being a denizen of Aleppo and Syria as a whole.
Mr. Trumps xenophobia and nationalism, would deny this young boy the dream of nothing more than not wishing to be buried under his own apartment building.
While Hillary Clinton has called for the increase in Syrian refugees taken in, Mr. Trump would have this child barred entry to the States in a move to galvanize his nativist base.
While I struggle to stay calm about that nonsense, the Syrian kid didn’t bat an eye.
“Omran was in the same daze and shock you saw he had when he was in the ambulance,” said Dr. Mohammedd, a surgeon in Aleppo, whom didn’t wish to share his full name with reporters on the scene. “He was in the same situation, he did not cry at all.”
Unfortunately, this is a daily occurrence in Aleppo, and rarely have a happy ending.
“The truth is that the image you see today is repeated every day in Aleppo,” said Mustafa al Sarouq, the cameraman who took the video told CNN’s Nima Elbagir via Skype yesterday.
“Every day we cover these massacres and these war crimes in Aleppo. When we go to the places that have been bombed, regime planes circle around and bomb it again to kill rescue workers that are helping civilians. They kill these people who are trying to rescue people.”
Russia has, thankfully, recently showed an interest to halt its airstrikes in Aleppo so aid can be delivered.
“Coming from the international principles of humanitarian law and with intention to extend the scales of humanitarian mission in Aleppo, Russian Defense ministry is ready to support de Mistura’s proposal about weekly 48 hour humanitarian ceasefires to deliver the city’s citizens food, medicine and to restore vital service systems that got broken in rebels’ shellfire,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov recently stated.
Syrian Boy (Omran Daqneesh’s) VIDEO: