The girl died from her injuries but managed to save her infant sister.
Rabat – A photo capturing the moment a young Syrian girl saved her sister from falling off the edge of a destroyed building is causing shock worldwide.
The father of the girls can be seen screaming in horror as his five-year-old daughter, Riham, pulls her 7-month-old sister Tuqa up by her shirt to stop her from falling from the rubble.
The photo was captured on Wednesday by local media activist group SY24 in the Syrian town of Ariha, Idlib province, following an airstrike conducted by government forces.
After the picture was taken, the girls were freed from the ruins and after being taken initially to a local clinic, they were transferred to a larger hospital in Idlib.
Five-year-old Riham tragically died from her injuries in the hospital and Tuqa remains in the intensive care unit, according to SY-24.
Their mother, Asmaa Naqouhl, was killed at the scene. Her husband and father to the girls, Amjad al-Abdullah survived.
Intensifying situation especially dangerous for children
The family is one of many devastated recently by the intensifying airstrikes in the region. According to the UN last week, more than 350 civilians had been killed and 330,000 forced to flee their homes since the fighting escalated on April 29.
The situation is especially deadly to children, according to human rights organizations in the region. In a statement on Wednesday, NGO Save The Children its partner organization Hurras Network reported that the past few weeks have been more deadly for children than all over last year combined.
“Save the Children and Hurras Network can confirm that at least 33 children have been killed since June 24, compared to 31 children killed during all of 2018,” said the statement.
“The current situation in Idlib is a nightmare. The injuries we are seeing are horrific. It’s clear that once again children have been killed and injured in indiscriminate attacks,” said Sonia Khush, Save the Children Syria response director.
“The bombardment is relentless. It seems as though the different sides have stopped fighting each other and are fighting us, civilians, now. It’s just senseless brutality,” one anonymous eyewitness, told Save the Children.
“I saw dozens of people killed in the marketplace, torn to pieces, including many young children who were playing on the street. They should have been safe,” the eyewitness continued.
The heartbreaking photo of the family is causing shockwaves across the world and drawing renewed attention to the Syria crisis.
A disturbing photo that circulated in 2015 had the same effect. The photo showed the body of a 3-year-old Syrian boy, named Alan Kurdi, who drowned off the Greek island of Kos.
The image defined the Syrian refugee crisis, shocked EU leaders, and led to increased concerns about the refugee crisis.