ALEPPO AIRSTRIKES: UN SAYS TWO MILLION PEOPLE NOW WITHOUT WATER

Sep 25, 2016 by

NBC News
Aleppo’s Children

by Alastair Jamieson

News
Aleppo’s Children

by Alastair Jamieson

A wave of intense airstrikes has left nearly two million people in the Syrian city of Aleppo without water, UN officials said Saturday as activists said at least 25 more civilians had been killed.

UN children’s charity, UNICEF, said this week’s renewed airstrikes – which further dashed hopes of reviving last week’s cease-fire – had damaged a water pumping station which supplies about 250,000 people in rebel-held eastern parts and violence is preventing repair teams from reaching it.

“Violence is preventing repair teams from reaching the station. In retaliation, the Suleiman al Halabi pumping station, also located in the east, was switched off – cutting water to 1.5 million people in the western parts of the city,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria.

“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day.”

Warplanes mounted a new wave of heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo Saturday, rebel sources, a rescue worker and a war monitor reported. The U.K.-based Syria Observatory on Human Rights said at least 25 people had been killed.

It followed intense strikes on Friday that the White Helmet volunteer group said had killed 91 people and marked their “toughest” day so far in the civil war.

Video showed children being pulled from the rubble, including many dead but also a 5-year-old girl and a baby who were alive.

The attacks have used ordnance more destructive than anything previously fired in the area, and many buildings have been destroyed, residents say. Images of blast sites show craters several meters wide and deep.

A senior official in an Aleppo-based rebel faction, the Levant Front, told Reuters the weapons appeared designed to bring down entire buildings. “Most of the victims are under the rubble because more than half the civil defense has been forced out of service,” he said.

The Syrian army says it is targeting rebel positions in the city, and denies hitting civilians.

“Every missile makes an earthquake we feel regardless of how far off the bombardment is,” one Aleppo resident said.

Contributors The Associated Press, Yuka Tachibana and Reuters

by Jason Cumming, Yuka Tachibana and Ammar Cheikh Omar

Aleppo’s Children: What Life Is Like for Children in War-Torn Syria 1:39

The blank and haunting gaze of the “boy in the ambulance” rescued from the rubble in Aleppo turned the world’s eyes to the besieged city.

Omran Daqneesh, whose bloodied and dust-caked face was captured on camera, is as old as the five-year conflict that has ripped Syria apart. He’s known nothing other than the horrors and heartbreak of war.
Image: Omran Daqneesh
Omran Daqneesh sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo Media Center via AP

Stepping outside in his hometown could instantly become a death sentence — but staying indoors isn’t much safer.

While last week’s photograph of the dazed Omran refocused attention on the civil war, thousands of other children from Aleppo find themselves in the crossfire daily — under bombardment from Syrian government forces and Russian jets in some parts of the city, rebel shelling in others.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Children of Aleppo Are Dying

The International Committee for the Red Cross recently described the battle for Aleppo as “one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times.”

Earlier this month, the U.N. refugee agency warned that at least 250,000 civilians have been trapped in the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo since early July. Thousands are camped out in mosques, public gardens and in the streets.

The city hasn’t had a full day of running water in more than a month. Charity Save the Children estimates that kids make up one-third of the casualties there. On Friday, the World Food Programme described the situation in besieged areas as “nightmarish.”

One British aid worker who last week traveled to Aleppo in an old ambulance packed with food and medicine told NBC News that he was “amazed” to find local children playing in the streets.
Image: Boys cool down with water from a damaged water pipe in Aleppo, Syria, on Aug. 20, 2016
Boys cool down with water from a pipe damaged by shelling in the rebel-held Sheikh Saeed neighborhood of Aleppo on Saturday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters

“They just become used to … living under bombs,” British aid worker Tauqir “Tox” Sharif said via Skype. “It’s just part of their life now. Children playing in rubble, children playing with shrapnel, you know — that’s their daily life.”

Sharif spent part of last week at some of the secret underground hospitals in rebel-held parts of the city, which he said were receiving patients from explosions occurring as often as every 10 minutes.

“You see children coming in with these horrible, devastating life-changing injuries,” he said. “You know some of them losing their arms, some of them losing their legs … shrapnel all over their faces … You know what kind of a future will this child have now. So I mean it’s very, very difficult to handle.”

Earlier this month, 15 of Aleppo’s remaining doctors wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama pleading for help. They said there were 42 attacks on medical facilities in Syria in July — or one every 17 hours.

Sharif, who is associated with an aid organization called Live Updates From Syria, admitted he was stunned by the spirit displayed by local people in the beleaguered city.
[Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ ]
Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ 1:29

“Some of them have come to terms of the fact that nobody is going to help them and they are in this alone, but they have become very resolute,” he said. “I mean I have seen some of the women, and some of the children, in Aleppo city and … their strength absolutely amazes me.”

He added “there is nowhere that’s safe” in Aleppo. “You’re literally waiting for death,” Sharif said.

Omran was plucked from the rubble along with three siblings and their mother and father on Wednesday.

Omran’s 10-year-old brother Ali died on Saturday as a result of injuries suffered during the airstrike.

A short drive from the Turkish border, Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city before the conflict.

Backed by Russian air power, President Bashar al-Assad’s military encircled rebels and at least a quarter-million civilians in eastern Aleppo in July.

The U.S., Turkey and Gulf Arab nations are supporting rebel groups who have been fighting since 2011 to oust Assad. Russia began airstrikes to bolster Assad’s forces in September.
Image: Wounded child after airstrike in Aleppo on July 23, 2016
A wounded child is carried following an airstrike on the rebel-held neighborhood of Qatirji in Aleppo, Syria, on July 23. . THAER MOHAMMED / AFP – Getty Images

ISIS controls parts of the country, with Raqqa serving as the militant group’s de facto capital.

Iranian militia fighters and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement are also helping Assad.

The level of casualties and destruction in government-held parts of Aleppo there has been far lower than in those controlled by rebels, according to Reuters.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Bill Neely last month, Assad was asked how he explained the war to his own kids at the breakfast table.

He replied: “Why to talk about children being killed, children of who? Where? How? You are talking about the propaganda and … about sometimes fake pictures on the internet … We have to talk about the facts. I cannot talk about allegations.”
Image: Aftermath of airstrike in Aleppo on July 25, 2016
Injured children are carried amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following airstrikes targeting the rebel-held neighborhood of Al-Mashhad in Aleppo on July 25. BARAA AL-HALABI / AFP – Getty Images

Assad added: “Crying doesn’t mean you are a good man. And doesn’t mean you have a lot of passion … It’s not about the tears.”

Adulkafi Alhamdo, an Aleppo-based English teacher and father of a six-month-old daughter, told NBC News that “even children” were well acquainted with the sound of cluster bombs: one explosion followed by a series of others.

The 31-year-old said most people he knew were unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time — as they feared that their homes would be hit while resting, either killing or burying them.

“This is why they are scared of their dreams,” Alhamdo added.
Image: Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid area of Aleppo on Aug. 18, 2016
Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid neighborhood of Aleppo on Thursday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters

Contributors Matt Bradley, Ram Baghdadi and Reuters
Topics World, Mideast
First Published Aug 22 2016, 6:23 am ET
Next Story Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

by Cassandra Vinograd

At least four aid workers were killed in an overnight airstrike on a medical triage point near Aleppo, according to their charity.

The attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Touman came one day after airstrikes hit an aid convoy in the nearby town of Uram al-Kubra, killing at least 20 people and touching off a round of blame-trading.

The U.S. said Russia was responsible for the airstrike on the aid convoy; Moscow vehemently denied any involvement.
[U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead]
U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead 1:20

It was not immediately clear who launched the airstrike that hit the medical facility overnight on Tuesday.

The slain humanitarians worked for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and were rushing to pick up wounded from a separate attack when their ambulances were hit. Two nurses and two ambulance drivers were killed, according to the organization.

It said a fifth staff member — a nurse — was critically injured in the airstrike, which “completely destroyed” the medical center and left “many victims” buried in the rubble.

The organization condemned the “unacceptable” loss of life, saying in a statement that aid workers and medical personnel are protected under international law.
[A Short History of Syria’s Civil War]
A Short History of Syria’s Civil War 1:45

“They give their lives to save others,” the organization added. “The instigators of these acts must be held responsible.”

It declined to comment on who may have conducted the attack, saying only that it was an “aerial bombardment.”

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least nine rebels also died in the airstrikes — with the death toll likely to rise.
A wave of intense airstrikes has left nearly two million people in the Syrian city of Aleppo without water, UN officials said Saturday as activists said at least 25 more civilians had been killed.

UN children’s charity, UNICEF, said this week’s renewed airstrikes – which further dashed hopes of reviving last week’s cease-fire – had damaged a water pumping station which supplies about 250,000 people in rebel-held eastern parts and violence is preventing repair teams from reaching it.

“Violence is preventing repair teams from reaching the station. In retaliation, the Suleiman al Halabi pumping station, also located in the east, was switched off – cutting water to 1.5 million people in the western parts of the city,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria.

“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day.”

Warplanes mounted a new wave of heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo Saturday, rebel sources, a rescue worker and a war monitor reported. The U.K.-based Syria Observatory on Human Rights said at least 25 people had been killed.

It followed intense strikes on Friday that the White Helmet volunteer group said had killed 91 people and marked their “toughest” day so far in the civil war.

Video showed children being pulled from the rubble, including many dead but also a 5-year-old girl and a baby who were alive.

The attacks have used ordnance more destructive than anything previously fired in the area, and many buildings have been destroyed, residents say. Images of blast sites show craters several meters wide and deep.

A senior official in an Aleppo-based rebel faction, the Levant Front, told Reuters the weapons appeared designed to bring down entire buildings. “Most of the victims are under the rubble because more than half the civil defense has been forced out of service,” he said.

The Syrian army says it is targeting rebel positions in the city, and denies hitting civilians.

“Every missile makes an earthquake we feel regardless of how far off the bombardment is,” one Aleppo resident said.

Aleppo’s Children
Aug 22 2016, 9:01 am ET
Aleppo’s Children: Omran Daqneesh Is One of Thousands Suffering

by Jason Cumming, Yuka Tachibana and Ammar Cheikh Omar
[Aleppo’s Children: What Life Is Like for Children in War-Torn Syria]
Aleppo’s Children: What Life Is Like for Children in War-Torn Syria 1:39

The blank and haunting gaze of the “boy in the ambulance” rescued from the rubble in Aleppo turned the world’s eyes to the besieged city.

Omran Daqneesh, whose bloodied and dust-caked face was captured on camera, is as old as the five-year conflict that has ripped Syria apart. He’s known nothing other than the horrors and heartbreak of war.
Image: Omran Daqneesh
Omran Daqneesh sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo Media Center via AP

Stepping outside in his hometown could instantly become a death sentence — but staying indoors isn’t much safer.

While last week’s photograph of the dazed Omran refocused attention on the civil war, thousands of other children from Aleppo find themselves in the crossfire daily — under bombardment from Syrian government forces and Russian jets in some parts of the city, rebel shelling in others.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Children of Aleppo Are Dying

The International Committee for the Red Cross recently described the battle for Aleppo as “one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times.”

Earlier this month, the U.N. refugee agency warned that at least 250,000 civilians have been trapped in the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo since early July. Thousands are camped out in mosques, public gardens and in the streets.

The city hasn’t had a full day of running water in more than a month. Charity Save the Children estimates that kids make up one-third of the casualties there. On Friday, the World Food Programme described the situation in besieged areas as “nightmarish.”

One British aid worker who last week traveled to Aleppo in an old ambulance packed with food and medicine told NBC News that he was “amazed” to find local children playing in the streets.
Image: Boys cool down with water from a damaged water pipe in Aleppo, Syria, on Aug. 20, 2016
Boys cool down with water from a pipe damaged by shelling in the rebel-held Sheikh Saeed neighborhood of Aleppo on Saturday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters

“They just become used to … living under bombs,” British aid worker Tauqir “Tox” Sharif said via Skype. “It’s just part of their life now. Children playing in rubble, children playing with shrapnel, you know — that’s their daily life.”

Sharif spent part of last week at some of the secret underground hospitals in rebel-held parts of the city, which he said were receiving patients from explosions occurring as often as every 10 minutes.

“You see children coming in with these horrible, devastating life-changing injuries,” he said. “You know some of them losing their arms, some of them losing their legs … shrapnel all over their faces … You know what kind of a future will this child have now. So I mean it’s very, very difficult to handle.”

Earlier this month, 15 of Aleppo’s remaining doctors wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama pleading for help. They said there were 42 attacks on medical facilities in Syria in July — or one every 17 hours.

Sharif, who is associated with an aid organization called Live Updates From Syria, admitted he was stunned by the spirit displayed by local people in the beleaguered city.
[Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ ]
Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ 1:29

“Some of them have come to terms of the fact that nobody is going to help them and they are in this alone, but they have become very resolute,” he said. “I mean I have seen some of the women, and some of the children, in Aleppo city and … their strength absolutely amazes me.”

He added “there is nowhere that’s safe” in Aleppo. “You’re literally waiting for death,” Sharif said.

Omran was plucked from the rubble along with three siblings and their mother and father on Wednesday.

Omran’s 10-year-old brother Ali died on Saturday as a result of injuries suffered during the airstrike.

A short drive from the Turkish border, Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city before the conflict.

Backed by Russian air power, President Bashar al-Assad’s military encircled rebels and at least a quarter-million civilians in eastern Aleppo in July.

The U.S., Turkey and Gulf Arab nations are supporting rebel groups who have been fighting since 2011 to oust Assad. Russia began airstrikes to bolster Assad’s forces in September.
Image: Wounded child after airstrike in Aleppo on July 23, 2016
A wounded child is carried following an airstrike on the rebel-held neighborhood of Qatirji in Aleppo, Syria, on July 23. . THAER MOHAMMED / AFP – Getty Images

ISIS controls parts of the country, with Raqqa serving as the militant group’s de facto capital.

Iranian militia fighters and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement are also helping Assad.

The level of casualties and destruction in government-held parts of Aleppo there has been far lower than in those controlled by rebels, according to Reuters.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Bill Neely last month, Assad was asked how he explained the war to his own kids at the breakfast table.

He replied: “Why to talk about children being killed, children of who? Where? How? You are talking about the propaganda and … about sometimes fake pictures on the internet … We have to talk about the facts. I cannot talk about allegations.”
Image: Aftermath of airstrike in Aleppo on July 25, 2016
Injured children are carried amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following airstrikes targeting the rebel-held neighborhood of Al-Mashhad in Aleppo on July 25. BARAA AL-HALABI / AFP – Getty Images

Assad added: “Crying doesn’t mean you are a good man. And doesn’t mean you have a lot of passion … It’s not about the tears.”

Adulkafi Alhamdo, an Aleppo-based English teacher and father of a six-month-old daughter, told NBC News that “even children” were well acquainted with the sound of cluster bombs: one explosion followed by a series of others.

The 31-year-old said most people he knew were unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time — as they feared that their homes would be hit while resting, either killing or burying them.

“This is why they are scared of their dreams,” Alhamdo added.
Image: Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid area of Aleppo on Aug. 18, 2016
Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid neighborhood of Aleppo on Thursday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters

First Published Aug 22 2016, 6:23 am ET
Next Story Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

by Cassandra Vinograd

At least four aid workers were killed in an overnight airstrike on a medical triage point near Aleppo, according to their charity.

The attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Touman came one day after airstrikes hit an aid convoy in the nearby town of Uram al-Kubra, killing at least 20 people and touching off a round of blame-trading.

The U.S. said Russia was responsible for the airstrike on the aid convoy; Moscow vehemently denied any involvement.
[U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead]
U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead 1:20

It was not immediately clear who launched the airstrike that hit the medical facility overnight on Tuesday.

The slain humanitarians worked for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and were rushing to pick up wounded from a separate attack when their ambulances were hit. Two nurses and two ambulance drivers were killed, according to the organization.

It said a fifth staff member — a nurse — was critically injured in the airstrike, which “completely destroyed” the medical center and left “many victims” buried in the rubble.

The organization condemned the “unacceptable” loss of life, saying in a statement that aid workers and medical personnel are protected under international law.
[A Short History of Syria’s Civil War]
A Short History of Syria’s Civil War 1:45

“They give their lives to save others,” the organization added. “The instigators of these acts must be held responsible.”

It declined to comment on who may have conducted the attack, saying only that it was an “aerial bombardment.”

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least nine rebels also died in the airstrikes — with the death toll likely to rise. News
Aleppo’s Children

by Alastair Jamieson
[See Children Pulled from Rubble After Aleppo Airstrikes]
See Children Pulled from Rubble After Aleppo Airstrikes 0:55

A wave of intense airstrikes has left nearly two million people in the Syrian city of Aleppo without water, UN officials said Saturday as activists said at least 25 more civilians had been killed.

UN children’s charity, UNICEF, said this week’s renewed airstrikes – which further dashed hopes of reviving last week’s cease-fire – had damaged a water pumping station which supplies about 250,000 people in rebel-held eastern parts and violence is preventing repair teams from reaching it.

“Violence is preventing repair teams from reaching the station. In retaliation, the Suleiman al Halabi pumping station, also located in the east, was switched off – cutting water to 1.5 million people in the western parts of the city,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria.

“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day.”

Warplanes mounted a new wave of heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo Saturday, rebel sources, a rescue worker and a war monitor reported. The U.K.-based Syria Observatory on Human Rights said at least 25 people had been killed.

It followed intense strikes on Friday that the White Helmet volunteer group said had killed 91 people and marked their “toughest” day so far in the civil war.

Video showed children being pulled from the rubble, including many dead but also a 5-year-old girl and a baby who were alive.

The attacks have used ordnance more destructive than anything previously fired in the area, and many buildings have been destroyed, residents say. Images of blast sites show craters several meters wide and deep.

A senior official in an Aleppo-based rebel faction, the Levant Front, told Reuters the weapons appeared designed to bring down entire buildings. “Most of the victims are under the rubble because more than half the civil defense has been forced out of service,” he said.

The Syrian army says it is targeting rebel positions in the city, and denies hitting civilians.

“Every missile makes an earthquake we feel regardless of how far off the bombardment is,” one Aleppo resident said.
Alastair Jamieson
Alastair Jamieson
Contributors The Associated Press, Yuka Tachibana and Reuters
Topics World, Mideast
First Published Sep 24 2016, 6:42 am ET
Next Story Aleppo’s Children: Omran Daqneesh Is One of Thousands Suffering

Aleppo’s Children
Aug 22 2016, 9:01 am ET
Aleppo’s Children: Omran Daqneesh Is One of Thousands Suffering

by Jason Cumming, Yuka Tachibana and Ammar Cheikh Omar
[Aleppo’s Children: What Life Is Like for Children in War-Torn Syria]
Aleppo’s Children: What Life Is Like for Children in War-Torn Syria 1:39

The blank and haunting gaze of the “boy in the ambulance” rescued from the rubble in Aleppo turned the world’s eyes to the besieged city.

Omran Daqneesh, whose bloodied and dust-caked face was captured on camera, is as old as the five-year conflict that has ripped Syria apart. He’s known nothing other than the horrors and heartbreak of war.
Image: Omran Daqneesh
Omran Daqneesh sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo Media Center via AP

Stepping outside in his hometown could instantly become a death sentence — but staying indoors isn’t much safer.

While last week’s photograph of the dazed Omran refocused attention on the civil war, thousands of other children from Aleppo find themselves in the crossfire daily — under bombardment from Syrian government forces and Russian jets in some parts of the city, rebel shelling in others.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Children of Aleppo Are Dying

The International Committee for the Red Cross recently described the battle for Aleppo as “one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times.”

Earlier this month, the U.N. refugee agency warned that at least 250,000 civilians have been trapped in the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo since early July. Thousands are camped out in mosques, public gardens and in the streets.

The city hasn’t had a full day of running water in more than a month. Charity Save the Children estimates that kids make up one-third of the casualties there. On Friday, the World Food Programme described the situation in besieged areas as “nightmarish.”

One British aid worker who last week traveled to Aleppo in an old ambulance packed with food and medicine told NBC News that he was “amazed” to find local children playing in the streets.
Image: Boys cool down with water from a damaged water pipe in Aleppo, Syria, on Aug. 20, 2016
Boys cool down with water from a pipe damaged by shelling in the rebel-held Sheikh Saeed neighborhood of Aleppo on Saturday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters

“They just become used to … living under bombs,” British aid worker Tauqir “Tox” Sharif said via Skype. “It’s just part of their life now. Children playing in rubble, children playing with shrapnel, you know — that’s their daily life.”

Sharif spent part of last week at some of the secret underground hospitals in rebel-held parts of the city, which he said were receiving patients from explosions occurring as often as every 10 minutes.

“You see children coming in with these horrible, devastating life-changing injuries,” he said. “You know some of them losing their arms, some of them losing their legs … shrapnel all over their faces … You know what kind of a future will this child have now. So I mean it’s very, very difficult to handle.”

Earlier this month, 15 of Aleppo’s remaining doctors wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama pleading for help. They said there were 42 attacks on medical facilities in Syria in July — or one every 17 hours.

Sharif, who is associated with an aid organization called Live Updates From Syria, admitted he was stunned by the spirit displayed by local people in the beleaguered city.
[Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ ]
Aid Worker on Aleppo: ‘You’re Literally Waiting for Death’ 1:29

“Some of them have come to terms of the fact that nobody is going to help them and they are in this alone, but they have become very resolute,” he said. “I mean I have seen some of the women, and some of the children, in Aleppo city and … their strength absolutely amazes me.”

He added “there is nowhere that’s safe” in Aleppo. “You’re literally waiting for death,” Sharif said.

Omran was plucked from the rubble along with three siblings and their mother and father on Wednesday.

Omran’s 10-year-old brother Ali died on Saturday as a result of injuries suffered during the airstrike.

A short drive from the Turkish border, Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city before the conflict.

Backed by Russian air power, President Bashar al-Assad’s military encircled rebels and at least a quarter-million civilians in eastern Aleppo in July.

The U.S., Turkey and Gulf Arab nations are supporting rebel groups who have been fighting since 2011 to oust Assad. Russia began airstrikes to bolster Assad’s forces in September.
Image: Wounded child after airstrike in Aleppo on July 23, 2016
A wounded child is carried following an airstrike on the rebel-held neighborhood of Qatirji in Aleppo, Syria, on July 23. . THAER MOHAMMED / AFP – Getty Images

ISIS controls parts of the country, with Raqqa serving as the militant group’s de facto capital.

Iranian militia fighters and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement are also helping Assad.

The level of casualties and destruction in government-held parts of Aleppo there has been far lower than in those controlled by rebels, according to Reuters.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Bill Neely last month, Assad was asked how he explained the war to his own kids at the breakfast table.

He replied: “Why to talk about children being killed, children of who? Where? How? You are talking about the propaganda and … about sometimes fake pictures on the internet … We have to talk about the facts. I cannot talk about allegations.”
Image: Aftermath of airstrike in Aleppo on July 25, 2016
Injured children are carried amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following airstrikes targeting the rebel-held neighborhood of Al-Mashhad in Aleppo on July 25. BARAA AL-HALABI / AFP – Getty Images

Assad added: “Crying doesn’t mean you are a good man. And doesn’t mean you have a lot of passion … It’s not about the tears.”

Adulkafi Alhamdo, an Aleppo-based English teacher and father of a six-month-old daughter, told NBC News that “even children” were well acquainted with the sound of cluster bombs: one explosion followed by a series of others.

The 31-year-old said most people he knew were unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time — as they feared that their homes would be hit while resting, either killing or burying them.

“This is why they are scared of their dreams,” Alhamdo added.
Image: Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid area of Aleppo on Aug. 18, 2016
Damaged buildings in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid neighborhood of Aleppo on Thursday. ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL / Reuters
Reuters
Topics World, Mideast
First Published Aug 22 2016, 6:23 am ET
Next Story Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

Airstrike on Khan Touman Medical Facility, Near Aleppo, Kills Aid Workers

by Cassandra Vinograd

At least four aid workers were killed in an overnight airstrike on a medical triage point near Aleppo, according to their charity.

The attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Touman came one day after airstrikes hit an aid convoy in the nearby town of Uram al-Kubra, killing at least 20 people and touching off a round of blame-trading.

The U.S. said Russia was responsible for the airstrike on the aid convoy; Moscow vehemently denied any involvement.
[U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead]
U.S. Blames Russia for Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy That Left 20 Dead 1:20

It was not immediately clear who launched the airstrike that hit the medical facility overnight on Tuesday.

The slain humanitarians worked for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and were rushing to pick up wounded from a separate attack when their ambulances were hit. Two nurses and two ambulance drivers were killed, according to the organization.

It said a fifth staff member — a nurse — was critically injured in the airstrike, which “completely destroyed” the medical center and left “many victims” buried in the rubble.

The organization condemned the “unacceptable” loss of life, saying in a statement that aid workers and medical personnel are protected under international law.
[A Short History of Syria’s Civil War]
A Short History of Syria’s Civil War 1:45

“They give their lives to save others,” the organization added. “The instigators of these acts must be held responsible.”

It declined to comment on who may have conducted the attack, saying only that it was an “aerial bombardment.”

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least nine rebels also died in the airstrikes — with the death toll likely to rise.

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