Ahmad Qassoum tells Asharq al-Awsat that he and his family were returning home from a visit to his in-laws in Ariha, in northern Syria’s Idleb province, last Friday when at around 9:30 am their vehicle came under a drone attack. “While I was driving my vehicle I had overtaken a motorcycle on the Ariha-Masoumeh road,” he says. “So we came under a drone attack and the children started crying. There was blood everywhere.” Little did he know that he was the victim of a blast reportedly resulting from a U.S. drone strike in the Idleb.
Residents rushed to help them and paramedics transported them to a hospital in Idleb, Qassoum tells Asharq al-Awsat.
The drone was targeting the man on the motorcycle.
Qassoum, his wife, two sons, and two daughters suffered various wounds in the blast.
The Associated Press first reported the attack, saying the U.S. strike in Idleb targeting an al-Qaeda leader wounded a family of six, including a 10-year-old child who suffered serious head injuries.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the U.S. drone fired three missiles in Friday’s attack, killing a former member of the al-Qaeda-linked Horas al-Din group.
The Observatory said the man who was killed by the U.S. strike had left the group nearly a year ago, adding that he was a Syrian citizen from the northwestern region of Jabal al-Zawiya in the Idleb province. It was not clear whether he was still a fighter.
The U.S. military says it conducted a strike from a remotely piloted MQ-9 aircraft Friday near the city of Idleb targeting “a senior al-Qaeda leader and planner.” An initial review of this strike indicates the potential for possible civilian casualties, it added.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.