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As Syrian regime intensifies strikes on Idlib, residents find no place of safety

ARIHA (Idlib): The residents of rebel-held Syrian province finding no safe place in the province as the regime forces have stepped up attacks.

As Syrian government forces struck a house, rescue workers pull 12-year-old Nour Faham from the dust, rubble and twisted metal that his house was turned into by the attack.

The Syrian government air force carried out the attacks in the northeastern town of Ariha.

One of the workers cradles a dazed Nour, while another examines his head. He’s alive. Moments later, they uncover another boy, his 9-year-old brother, Zain. He isn’t moving.

As the workers rush the two boys to the hospital in an ambulance, they struggle to resuscitate Zain.

“Warm,” one of them shouts. “His body is warm.

On a bed at the hospital, more medics do what they can for Zain. They give him CPR to get his heart going. They pump air into his lungs. They try a defibrillator. Zain doesn’t respond.

Resigned, the medics gently lower Zain’s body into a black body-bag.

The same strike killed Zain and Nour’s four-year-old twin sisters, Sham and Wasim, and their 60-year-old grandmother, Samiha.

In an adjacent room, a medic gently dabs water on Nour’s face to rinse off the blood and dust.

‘Humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes’ The airstrike is part of an intensified regime campaign to shake the rebels’ grip on Syria’s last remaining opposition-held province of Idlib.

In recent weeks, the campaign has killed at least 160 civilians, displaced around 270,000 people and targeted healthcare facilities, schools and markets, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Meuller said at the UN Security Council Tuesday.

“The question today is what you will do to protect civilians in Idlib, the latest example of an entirely known, predictable and preventable humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes,” she said.

According to the White Helmets volunteer group, there have been over 24 attacks on health facilities, six attacks on civil defense centers and 27 attacks on schools.