Aleppo frontline: Parents who saw 6yo son killed & 4yo daughter injured in rocket attack speak to RT
Arwa is propped up by her father – she can’t sit properly and barely stands with the help of her parents. She was a healthy girl until the tragic incident which killed her 6-year-old brother Abdusalam.
Arwa’s father told RT’s Lizzie Phelan that at the time of the attack, their family was in Minyan, a frontline village in west Aleppo.
“Rockets began raining down on our home … we got in the car to leave, a rocket was fired, and the shrapnel hit [the car], injured my girl and hit our son in the head, killing him.”
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The girl’s mother recalled that when she heard the sound of the explosion, at first she thought it was in the street.
Today we met Arwa. 4 years old. Maybe this picture of her smile won't move the world. Maybe only her injuries would. Maybe. Her village in west Aleppo came under rocket fire in early August this year, her parents hurried her along with her 6 yr old bro Abdusalam into a car to flee. A rocket landed nearby and shrapnel tore through the car killing Abdusalam and tearing off her anal canal and part of her buttock. She needs reconstructive surgery in order to be able to sit again and perhaps she will never be able to control her bowels. Her parents can't afford the new colostomy bag she needs changed every day or so so they have to make do with cleaning and maintaining the one they have. They still live on a frontline and Arwa and her family are terrified they will come under attack again but have no place else to go.
“Arwa was in front of me, I didn't even know she was injured, but then she began to cry. I thought she was crying for her brother,” she told RT.
Arwa’s mother said she “took her son to her chest,” only to find that he was dead. Later in hospital, the shocked parents learnt that their daughter was severely injured. The shrapnel tore off part of her buttock and with it part of her lower intestine. Arwa needs two operations, one so she can sit again and another so she can control her bowels. The latter operation is not currently available in Syria.
Arwa has to use a colostomy bag, which needs to be changed daily. But there is a shortage of them, her mother says. She’s also in need of bandages which have to be changed daily so they don't get soiled.
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The girl’s father added that now Arwa is afraid of any loud noise.
“Whenever she hears aircraft, or a rocket, or any loud sounds, she searches for a secluded place to hide where she can’t hear the sounds,” he said.
However, Arwa's biggest struggle is simply coming to terms with the loss of her brother, her parents say.
“She misses her brother so much. She cries over any small thing and says she wants to go to her brother’s grave so that she could put her hand on it,” her mother said.