Living and Surviving in Syria

January 30, 2020

Children injured in air strikes in Syria survive thanks to donated medicines

“Please tell me my dad is still alive, please be alive, my dad,” cried little Nour, her face covered in blood. Her little brother, also covered in blood, sat next to his sister in silence – he was in shock.

Nour and her family were at a busy outdoor city market inIdlib province, Syria when they were hit by an air strike. Nour screamed while her brother stared into space and walked around in a state of shock. These two innocent children not only lost their dad, they lost their grandmother and their great aunt. They both survived, but suffered terrible injuries to their eyes.

Nour was one of the lucky ones. She was able to receive treatment for her eyes in a hospital where IRT supplied medicines through our partner, Save the Syrian Children. Medical treatment is difficult to get in Idlib Province, the last rebel-controlled area in Syria in the ongoing civil war.

Nour was also lucky because she survived the air strikes. Since the start of 2020, an average of one child per day has died in Idlib from a siege waged by the Syrian government to try and recapture Idlib. In all, this war has killed an estimated 50,000 innocent little lives.

Nour received treatment at a hospital supported by IRT’s on-the-ground partners.

Children aren’t safe anywhere in Idlib -not at the market and not at home.

Islam, another young child, was at home with her mother when bombs from Russian war planes hit their house. The entire building crumbled on top of them.

When the dust cleared, Islam discovered she was trapped under the rubble. She could hear her mother screaming in the distance, also trapped. When the White Helmets (a volunteer rescue crew) came to rescue her,she said “Let’s go, I will get out and go to school. I want to see my mother. Where is my mother?” Islam still did not understand the severity of what had happened. She still thought she could go to school that day.

A team of about a dozen men worked tirelessly and as quickly as possible to free her trapped leg from under the debris. Islam clung desperately to the twisted rebar that stuck out of the wreckage while the White Helmets dug around her, desperately trying to free her.

Then another air strike hit.

Double bombings have become a common war tactic in Syria –the planes drop a bomb, then circle back minutes later after rescue teams and ambulances have arrived to help the injured and drop more bombs.

Fortunately, the rescue workers and Islam were unharmed after the second air strike. But, Islam recalled she could no longer hear her mother screaming.

Her rescuers finally freed Islam from the wreckage and took her to a hospital where IRT supplied medicines and she received emergency medical treatment. There she learned her mother died in the second airstrike.

Islam was treated at a hospital where IRT supplied medicines after her house collapsed on top of her in an air strike.

Though Islam and Nour both survived these attacks, they each lost a parent, forever altering the course of their lives. Thousands of children just like them are experiencing similar, or worse, tragedies every day across northwestern Syria.

Although these stories are heart-breaking, they could have ended differently for Nour and Islam without supporters like you. You empower us to send medicines and medical supplies into the heart of the violence. Thank you for not ignoring these children who so desperately need our help.

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