Being witness on a massacre committed by using the internationally forbidden chemical weapon is the most horrible experience in my entire life.
By: Diyako al-Kurdi — Aleppo
Being a witness on a massacre committed by using the internationally forbidden chemical weapon is the most horrible experience in my entire life.
On Saturday morning, the strong sound of an explosion moved the neighbourhood of our residency, north Aleppo. After being informed that the explosion took place in Sheikh Maksud area –mainly populated by Kurds, I headed to the area along with a group of opposition activists to investigate.
In the beginning, it was hard to identify the certain weapon used in the explosive attack. However, the difficulty in breathing indicated something quite abnormal while walking across a number of devastated buildings in the Maaruf street in the neighbourhood. The area appeared as if deserted since years.
Amid the confusion and hardness of the situation, I couldn’t focus or comprehend the appearances in front of me anymore. Although conscious, my steps were remarkably unbalanced while trying to walk forward through the damaged houses.
The brutality and cruelty of the régime forces who carried out the attack was considerably recognizable, as the faltering walls were approaching the ground in sudden movements.
Everything looked unrespectable. The weird smell of gas was everywhere, and the only reason for all of that indescribable situation was the internationally forbidden chemical weapon.
Among the group was a doctor, and he tried to collect some materials for further research. When we entered one of those damaged houses, we found a number of bodies for victims, but some of them were still alive, although seriously injured.
The doctor demonstrated that the impacts on the victims’ bodies –dead and injured– indicated the use of chemical materials during the attack. Red eyes, trembling extremities, and vomiting with white fluid were all indicators of being exposed to a sort of chemical materials, according to the doctor.
Everyone in the group was trying to help the injured people due to the attack, and our tears couldn’t resist when one of them was hardly saying: “air, I need to breathe”. We evacuated the house of all the dead bodies and the injured.
Not far away from the same house, corpses of three cats were situated on the ground. They were also taken to be used as samples in order to investigate the materials that caused their death.
We talked to many eyewitnesses in the neighbourhood, and everyone was trying to explain what they saw, and the state of trauma and shock was apparent on their faces.
“It was a helicopter, yes a helicopter hovering above the neighbourhood before firing a rocket and leave,” said one of the residents in a tremulous voice.
Yasir Yunis Bakir is another eyewitness on Sheikh Maksud’s massacre. Bakir has rebuilt his house only few days before the attack. His wife and two children –one six-months-old and the other two-year-old– were among the casualties. Bakir’s sister was seriously injured, and she is now taken to a Turkish hospital near the northern borders, beside other two brothers of him who were also injured due to the crackdown. I was informed by Bakir about all of that while he was deeply staring towards his damaged house.
A group of brave people who performed the role of lifeguards helped to evacuate most of the damaged houses. The group included: Jasim and Yusif Ali, Muhammad and Ahmad Bakri, Muhammad Ubaid, Mustafa Horo, Rojhelat Ali and others.
After three days, we turned back to the same location to hold contact with the medical team there –including the doctor who was present in the first day, in order to investigate more details about the Sheikh Maksud’s attack. The medical team revealed that the expulsion carried out by the helicopter attack included chemical gas, particularly “cyanide gas”.
The use of the forbidden chemical weapons against civilians indicates the recklessness of the Syrian régime regarding the moral and humanistic values, after disregarding all the international initiatives to find a political solution for the current crisis. According to activists and families of the victims of Sheikh Maksud’s massacre, a régime that has constantly persecuted and oppressed its people by killing thousands of them, will never hesitate to use the most lethal and fatal weapon against them, including the chemical weapon.
Source: ARA News
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