Rescuer in tears as he pulls newborn from bombed building in Syria

A Syrian rescue worker has been filmed breaking down in tears as he heroically pulled a 30-day-old baby girl from the rubble of a bombed building, in the city of Idlib on Thursday.

White Helmets volunteer Abu Kifah recovered the girl alive after two hours of desperate digging and held her close before the pair were rushed off in an ambulance to one of Syria's horrendously overcrowded hospitals.

The footage proved too much for BBC newsreader Kate Silverton, who cried live on air after watching the clip.

A newborn baby is seen after it was pulled out from the wreckage of a building hit by Assad regime forces' or Russian forces' air strikes in Idlib, Syria. Photo / Getty Images
A newborn baby is seen after it was pulled out from the wreckage of a building hit by Assad regime forces' or Russian forces' air strikes in Idlib, Syria. Photo / Getty Images


She continued reporting the next story but tears could be seen running down her cheeks.

Speaking about the display of emotion, Silverton later tweeted: 'To all of you sending thoughts - thank you - no words really - my job to be inscrutable & impartial but I am also human.'

One viewer tweeted: '[D]emonstrating utmost poise & professionalism following an extremely distressing piece on Syria. Kudos, Kate.'

At least 11 civilians, including seven children, died during attacks on Idlib, nearby Jarjanaz and central Hama province on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

An agonising 365 days have now passed since Russia began its 'barbarous' and relentless bombing campaign on Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin's bombs have killed more than 3,800 civilians in this time, a monitoring group said on Friday as international outcry mounted.

More than 100,000 children remain trapped in east Aleppo.  Photo / Getty Images
More than 100,000 children remain trapped in east Aleppo. Photo / Getty Images


'Bombs are raining from Syria-led coalition planes and the whole of east Aleppo has become a giant kill box,' Doctors Without Borders (MSF) director of operations Xisco Villalonga said on Friday.

The aid charity appealed to the Syrian government and its Russian ally to stop bombing rebel-held eastern Aleppo, warning they were provoking a 'bloodbath' among civilians in the city.

'The Syrian government must stop the indiscriminate bombing, and Russia as an indispensable political and military ally of Syria has the responsibility to exert the pressure to stop this,' he said.

The United Nations has warned that a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Aleppo unlike any witnessed so far in Syria's brutal five-year war, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives.

According to the UN, only around 35 doctors remain in eastern Aleppo, where an estimated 250,000 people have been under siege by government forces since early September.

The MSF statement cited numbers from the east Aleppo health directorate, showing that from September 21 to 26, the few hospitals still functioning in the rebel-held part of the city received some 278 dead bodies, including at least 96 children.

Injured air attack victims receive medical treatment at a hospital after Syrian army war planes staged air strikes with vacuum bombs. Photo / Getty Images
Injured air attack victims receive medical treatment at a hospital after Syrian army war planes staged air strikes with vacuum bombs. Photo / Getty Images


More than 822 wounded were also taken in, including at least 221 children, it said.

'All intensive care units are full. Patients have to wait for others to die so they can be moved to an available bed in intensive care,' Abu Waseem, manager of an MSF-supported trauma hospital in east Aleppo, warned in the statement.

'We only have three operating theatres and yesterday alone we had to do more than 20 major abdominal surgeries,' he said, pointing out that 'hospital staff is working up to 20 hours a day. They cannot just go home and let people die.'

MSF said it had last been able to deliver medical supplies to east Aleppo in August, and warned that the huge number of wounded was rapidly depleting the stocks in the remaining hospitals.

'Now, with a complete siege on the city, attacks on humanitarian convoys and intensive bombing, we are powerless,' Villalonga said, warning that 'if this intensity of bombing continues, there may not be a single hospital standing in a few days.'

He demanded that the bombing stop, and that the sick and wounded be evacuated from the city.

Search and rescue team members work on an areas where war crafts belonging to the Russian Army bombed in the al-Shear district of Aleppo, Syria. Photo / Getty Images
Search and rescue team members work on an areas where war crafts belonging to the Russian Army bombed in the al-Shear district of Aleppo, Syria. Photo / Getty Images


'Anything short of this is confirmation of what many are dreading, that the world has abandoned the people of Aleppo to a violent, agonising death,' he said.

Fighting in Syria's besieged eastern Aleppo has killed 338 people in the past few weeks, including 106 children, and 846 have been wounded, including 261 children, a World Health Organization official said on Friday.

'We are asking for four things: stop the killing, stop attacks on health care, let the sick and wounded out and let the aid in,' Rick Brennan, WHO's head of emergency risk management and humanitarian response, told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

'The situation really is unfathomable.'

Assad's regime and its key backer Russia are under growing pressure from world governments to halt a new offensive pounding rebel-held areas of Aleppo.
More than 9,300 people have been killed in the Russian raids since September 30, 2015, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The toll includes more than 2,700 jihadists from the Islamic State group and around 2,800 fighters from various rebel factions, the British-based monitor said.

At least 20,000 civilians have been wounded in the Russian raids, it said.

The Observatory - which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information - says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the death toll from Russian strikes could be even higher given the number of people killed by unidentified warplanes.

Moscow said on Thursday that it would press on with its bombing campaign in Syria, ignoring a threat by Washington to suspend its engagement over the conflict following escalating attacks on rebel-held parts of Aleppo.

People search for the air attack victims during search and rescue operation after Syrian army war planes staged air strikes with vacuum bombs in Carcanaz. Photo / Getty Images
People search for the air attack victims during search and rescue operation after Syrian army war planes staged air strikes with vacuum bombs in Carcanaz. Photo / Getty Images


Regime and Russian aircraft have carried out a barrage of strikes on east Aleppo since the Syrian government announced an offensive last week to retake all of the divided city.

The bombardment has been some of the worst in Syria's five-year civil war, and follows the failure of a short-lived ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States.

Moscow and Washington have traded blame for last week's collapse of the ceasefire deal that would have marked the first step in a new effort to end the war that has killed 300,000 people since 2011.

US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted Thursday that months of diplomacy to end the war had hit a dead-end.

'I think we are on the verge of suspending the discussion because, you know, it's irrational in the context of the kind of bombing taking place, to be sitting there, trying to take things seriously,' he said.

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned what they called 'barbarous' Russian and Syrian regime air strikes on Aleppo during a phone call, the White House said.

UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council in New York that Aleppo is descending into a 'merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed so far in Syria.'

More than 100,000 children remain trapped in east Aleppo, he said.

Two of the largest hospitals in the city's east were bombed on Wednesday in what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described as a war crime.

Save the Children said that bunker-busting bombs meant it was too dangerous for children to return to even underground schools in Aleppo when classes resume this weekend.

The 'ferocious assault' on Aleppo could deprive almost 100,000 school-age children of an education, said the charity, which supports 13 schools in the city, eight of them underground.

- Daily Mail

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