The suspected chemical attack in northern Syria’s Idlib province on Wednesday horrified people across the globe as they came across disturbing images from the Khan Sheikhoun town. Contorted bodies, kids gasping for breath, men and women lying on ground, some still and some convulsing — almost every image from the scene had one of these elements. The pictures overwhelmed many including US President Donald Trump. Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Friday tweeted, “I know @POTUS was deeply moved by the images & stories emerging from #SyriaChemicalAttack.” Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Trump said, ” It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
Syria’s six-year-long civil war has often resulted in images that jolt people making them more aware of the crisis in the nation. Be it three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body on a Turkey beach or Aleppo boy Omar Daqneesh’s blood-soaked face and blank eyes staring out of an ambulance — the photographs have moved people worldwide. Pictures from Friday’s attack caused a similar reaction with people sharing posts on social media criticising those behind the attack.
Disturbing images of children lying stiff on the ground, foaming at the mouth, being assisted by men in gas masks appeared after the attack sending shock waves across the world. In one picture, 29-year-old Abdel Hameed Alyousef, a Syrian man who lost his wife, two brothers, nephews and many other family members in the attack, cradled his dead nine-month-old twins wrapped in white shroud. Their pale blue faces a stark testimony to the horrors of war faced by civilians and children. In a video that appeared on social media, Alyousef can be seen crying and mumbling goodbye to his twins while burying them. He was also quoted as saying that he was crying “tears of happiness” as his children would now be with God “which is better than being in Syria.”
Family members of others were seen crying with their dead while struggling to breathe due to exposure to the toxic gas. Even doctors treating the victims were overwhelmed seeing their pain and loss. “I’ve never seen anything like it, beyond description,” Dr Fares al-Jundi was quoted as saying by CNN. The Idlib chemical attack claimed 80 lives, out of which at least 25 were children.