A father bids farewell to twin toddlers after Syria attack

A father bids farewell to twin toddlers after Syria attack

BEIRUT — The father cradled his 9-month-old twins, Aya and Ahmed, each in an arm. He stroked their hair and choked back tears, mumbling, “Say goodbye, baby, say goodbye” to their lifeless bodies.

Abdel Hameed al-Youssef lost his two children, his wife and other relatives in the suspected chemical attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed at least 72 people. In footage shared with The Associated Press, Youssef sits in the front seat of a van with the twin, his eyes red as he asks his cousin Alaa to video his farewell to them.

When the airstrike took place, “I was right beside them and I carried them outside the house with their mother,” Youssef, a 29-year-old shopowner, told the AP. “They were conscious at first, but 10 minutes later we could smell the odour.” The twins and his wife, Dalal Ahmed, fell sick.

He brought them to paramedics and, thinking they would be OK, went to look for the rest of his family. He found the bodies of two of his brothers, two nephews and a niece, as well as neighbours and friends. “I couldn’t save anyone, they’re all dead now,” he said.

Only later was he told his children and wife had died.

“Abdel Hameed is in very bad shape,” his cousin Alaa said. He’s being treated for exposure to the toxin. “But he’s especially broken down over his massive loss.”

Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

Kelowna RCMP investigating alleged group attack on teenager

A 14-year-old boy claims he was attacked by a group of teens Friday night

14th anniversary of Kelowna man’s sudden disappearance

Aaron Derbyshire was out with friends on Sept. 30, 2006, and hasn’t been seen since

Be a safe pedestrian: Kelowna RCMP

Mornings are darker and evenings come quicker, so wear bright clothing if you’re taking a walk

Kelowna Rockets alumni Luke Schenn wins Stanley Cup

Schenn is the fifth Rocket alumni in history to hoist the trophy

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read