SYRIA

Video shows kids narrowly escaping shelling in Damascus

 Local activists in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, were interviewing a group of children hanging out in the street about all the horrors of war they had witnessed, when what appears to be shelling hits just metres away. In a video of the incident released Sunday, the panicked kids are seen scrambling to get away from the blast site. Later in the video, they are interviewed again, this time about their lucky escape.

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Local activists in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, were interviewing a group of children about the horrors of war they had witnessed, when what appears to be shelling hits just metres away. In a video of the incident released Sunday, the panicked kids are seen scrambling to get away from the blast site. Later in the video, they are interviewed again, this time about their lucky escape.

 

The video was posted to a YouTube channel described as belonging to opposition activists from the “Jobar Coordination Committee”, which has featured footage nearly exclusively from this suburb for the past year. In the beginning of the video, an inscription on the wall behind the children indicates that this street is indeed located in Jobar.

 

 

In the first part of the video, a young boy describes a terrifying scene: “We were in a protest when mortar fire fell next to a little boy.” The little girl adds: “They were taking all the martyrs away; we saw all of it.” The boy continues: “The first time, I was scared, but then I got used to it – I saw a guy without a head, another without any arms…”

 

After the explosion, the video cuts to another interview of the same children, this time gathered indoors and wearing different clothes. The young boy explains what happened: “After the explosion, I lay down on the ground.” The interviewer asks, “Who taught you that?” He answers: “Nobody. I learned on my own.” The interviewer then asks all the kids: “But you’re always out playing with your bicycles; aren’t you scared?” They shyly answer in the negative.

 

Many children in Syria have not been as lucky. According to a report by the London-based Oxford Research Group, more than 11,000 children have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict, nearly three years ago. Seventy one percent of them were killed by explosive weapons. Another 26 percent died from bullets, including from sniper fire.