The first photo of a heroic 5-year-old girl who passed away trying to save her 7-month-old sister in Syria after their home was attacked has emerged.
As their distraught father tried but failed to reach them, Riham clung on to the shirt of her baby sister Tuqa in the town of Ariha, western Idlib province.
The girls both fell from the building, leaving the baby in critical condition in hospital. Unfortunately, the heroic girl passed away.
Their mother and other sisters also died in the strike, which was carried out by government forces trying to recapture Idlib prince from what they describe as jihadists.
It is unclear if the aircraft that carried out the strike belonged to the army of Bashar al-Assad or allied Russian forces.
According to the UN, over 350 civilians died and over 330,000 forced to flee from their homes when the fighting escalated in northern Syria.
The photo of the heroic girl was shared on Twitter by Charles Listen, director of the counter-extremism program at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.
Father Amjad al-Abdullah was seen trying his best to save his daughters but failed. 7-month-old Tuqa dell from the ledge while Riham passed away in hospital.
The siblings were pulled from the ruins. However, their mother Asmaa Naqouhl died at the scene. Her other child is being treated for injuries.
Photographer Bashar al Sheikh was among the first responders after the attack. “The airstrikes had hit their building and they had fallen from the fifth floor to the ground. They were screaming and crying, asking rescue teams to save them,” he said.
A spokesperson for SY-24 said to BBC News: “He [the photographer] couldn’t see anything at first because of the rubble and dust – but then he heard the sounds of babies, children, and the father.”
The market town of Maaret al-Numan experienced some of the bloodiest strikes when over 40 people, including five children and eight women, were killed.
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