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Family’s Bodies Left Trapped for Weeks After U.S.-Led Airstrikes Hit Al-Thawrah

Elderly couple and child remained under the rubble for two weeks before SDF forces allowed their bodies to be removed, son tells Zaman al-Wasl
Family’s Bodies Left Trapped for Weeks After U.S.-Led Airstrikes Hit Al-Thawrah

Mohamad Abed al-Manan Abdou, an elderly man in his 70s, was killed with his wife, Salam Rashouh, and his grandson, Mohamad, in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.

Abdou and his family had been living under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Al-Thawrah (west Raqqa) for years with the hope of one day seeing the release of their son, who has been detained by ISIS since 2013.

The tragedy lies not only in the death of the innocent family, but also in that their bodies remained trapped beneath the rubble for more than two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces took control of the city.

Speaking to Zaman al-Wasl from Germany, Wassim Abdou, one of the couple’s sons, said that his father was living with his wife and used to work as an employee at the Tabqa Dam before he opened an electrical store in Al-Thawrah city.

Wassim explained that coalition forces targeted the house next to theirs in the neighborhood where they lived. The family were scared, so they left their house and stayed in the ground floor of a nearby building, but the warplanes then targeted that building.

He explained that one of his brothers was outside the house when the building was bombed, and he rushed back in to pull his wife and one of his daughters from under the rubble. His brother’s other daughter suffered a major injury to her hand due to the blast, and his son was physically disfigured as a result of the bombing.

Wassim said that his brother could see part of his father’s body emerging from under the rubble, but there was no sign of their mother.

“Three days after the airstrike, the Syrian Democratic [Forces] militias and the Islamic State forces reached an agreement that led to the withdrawal of the Islamic State,” he said.

Wassim added: “At this time my brother went to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militias to get the machines necessary to retrieve the bodies of his parents and help his injured daughter, but the militia would not release the machines.”

The bodies of the Abdou family members were only rescued 15 days after the incident.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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