Khaled Mohamed al-Dani, a child from the town of Saraqeb in Idleb province, was awards a certificate from his school in recognition of his excellence in his studies. Less than a day later Russian air raids hit his house, killing him, his mother and his siblings.
Khaled lost his life along with his mother and his siblings Duha, Mohamed and Hamza al-Dani after an air raid by Russian warplanes that struck his home on Saturday evening, as part of a campaign of escalation carried out by regime forces and Russia on Idleb province, which began in April.
On Sunday, activists from Idleb published images of Khaled and said that he had received a certificate of excellence from his school in Saraqeb hours before the Russian air raid struck his family’s house. The strike reduced the house to rubble, and the bodies of the family remained beneath it for hours before they were removed by Civil Defense teams.
A lawyer from Kafranbel, Yasser al-Saleem, wrote on Facebook mourning the Dani family and Khaled: “Haven’t enough Syrians died? How many more must die? We still might die any day—on land, at sea. The air itself has become a source of death from the sky. When will death stop overwhelming us? God rest the child of Saraqeb and his family and all Syrian children.. and down with the Assadist-Russian terrorists.”
Syrian journalist Omar Madaniyeh said on Twitter: “Yesterday this child was honored and given a certificate of excellence from his school. Today, God honored him with martyrdom after he lost his life under the rubble of his home with other members of his family in the town of Saraqeb east of Idleb during a bombardment of the city.”
The Syrian Civil Defense said that 11 civilians were killed, including five children and two women, and that 16 others were wounded in the Idleb and Hama countrysides yesterday during the Assad regime and Russia’s ongoing escalation campaign, noting that the bombardment of the areas of northern Syria was renewed in the early hours.
Regarding the Saraqeb bombardment yesterday, the Civil Defense said that the Dani family fell victim to the warplanes when their home was hit with a missile from a plane.
Media activist Hadi al-Abdullah mourned the Dani family and said on Twitter that, “Khaled al-Dani was one of the martyred children I talked about, along with his martyred family in Saraqeb. His school had honored him for his excellence in his studies … and the following day, Assad’s warplanes killed him.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights has calculated the number of dead and wounded in Assad’s military campaign with Russian backing on the Idleb and Hama countrysides, saying that the number of civilian casualties in the “fourth de-escalation zone” from Apr. 26 to Jun. 21, 2019, has been at least 487 civilians dead, including 118 children and 92 women, as well as at least 1,487 civilians being wounded.
The United Nations has previously condemned the killing of a nurse and three medics in Assad forces’ bombardment that struck a car taking them to the Maarat al-Nouman hospital.
The regional humanitarian coordinator in Syria, Panos Moumtzis, in a statement expressed his condemnation of the “acts of violence” and said that all parties of the conflict had to adhere to, “the principles of distinction and proportionality enshrined in International Humanitarian Law.”
The statement, according to Anadolu, said that, “Since May 1, 2019, there has been an escalation in hostilities in southern Idleb and the surrounding areas that has led to more than 320,000 people being displaced from the southern part of the de-escalation area.”
And that, “at least 37 schools and 26 healthcare facilities have been damaged or destroyed as a result of airstrikes and shelling in the last two months alone.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.