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The tragic end of the shelling in Ariha

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4 minutes

On October 20, at least 11 civilians, including 4 children, were killed in an explosion in Ariha in northwest Syria, a city 50 km from the Turkish border. Despite the ceasefire since last year, the area is under regular fire. It is the last territory in the country that is not controlled by the regime.

One of the children who lost their life in the attack was Omar. His twin brother Ali survived, but his leg could not be saved and an immediate amputation was necessary. The attack was carried out while the children were walking to the school through a busy square, making them the victims.

We received a request from the doctors in Idlib for help for a boy who not only lost his brother in a few seconds, but was also seriously injured, and we agreed to raise money for a prosthesis right away. From the beginning of the war in Syria, we can see that the most tragic victims are the youngest. Among our pupils, we have cases of children who lost their limbs when they were only a few months old, when the rooms where they slept were bombed. Idlib province remains one of the most dangerous places in the country, but there are still over 4 million people who need support – says Dorota Zadroga from the Polish Medical Mission.

The attack on a rebel-controlled settlement with a population of 40,000 in the north-west of the country came shortly after the morning bomb attack on Syrian soldiers traveling by bus, which killed 14 people and wounded several. According to local media reports, two explosives attached to the bus were detonated as it passed under a bridge in the city center during rush hour. The crisis in the country has deepened in recent weeks, putting its inhabitants at risk of further attacks. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric described the recent escalation of violence as the most significant increase in hostilities in northwestern Syria since the ceasefire in March 2020.

More than 305,000 people have lost their lives in the war that has been going on for more than a decade, but the UN points out that the statistics are likely to be underestimated, especially due to the enormous number of missing persons. It is estimated that about 1 million Syrians, including over 240,000 children, has amputated limbs and requires support. Polish Medical Mission has been present in Idlib since 2016, thanks to the funds obtained, it reopened the orthopedic center in Termanin. Physiotherapists, orthopedists and prosthetists work on site to help Ali get back on his feet after a tragic experience.

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