SYRIA – “Will I die, miss? Will I die?”
These are the words of a terrified young Syrian boy, apparently hit by a chemical attack as Syria’s gruesome five-year war rages on.
In a video posted online by the Syria Charity which is based in France, the boy wails in pain and fear as medical staff at an eastern Aleppo hospital try to console him and tell him that no, he won’t die.
“I was watching warplanes,” explained the boy, who looked no older than 10.
Coughing fits and tears
Wrapped up tight in a blue blanket with an oxygen mask strapped to his face, the boy told his story between coughing fits and tears.
“It dropped something, I saw yellow smoke. I felt something and then they grabbed me [and took me] to the hospital,” he said, adding that he’d lost track of his siblings in the attack.
The incident happened Friday in the Ard al-Hamra neighborhood in Aleppo, the charity said, but the video was being shared widely on social media Monday.
An aid worker from the Syria Charity rescued the boy and took him to a nearby children’s hospital, according to the charity, which says the video was shot by a nurse at the hospital.
But if things couldn’t get worse for this young victim, the charity said the hospital where he was being treated was suddenly struck in another attack. Luckily, he survived.
“Everything is fine with the child, we will visit him very soon,” Wadah Seddikh, the charity’s economic director, told CNN via email.
A separate chemical attack that killed a couple and their four children was reported on Sunday by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights and the Aleppo Media Center activist group, as a barrage of barrel bombs struck the al-Sakhour neighborhood.
CNN cannot independently verify the details of the video and chemical attacks as its access to eastern Aleppo is heavily restricted.
UN found chemical weapon use
Both sides of Syria’s civil war have accused one another of using chemical weapons in the past.
Syrian regime forces resumed heavy bombardment over eastern Aleppo on Tuesday last week after a three-week pause, killing more than 300 people by Monday, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer rescue group also known as the White Helmets.
A UN investigation in late August found that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, both by the national air force and ISIS militants. It found two instances where regime forces had used chlorine as a chemical weapon, and one where ISIS had used mustard gas between 2014 and 2015.
Barrel bombs are usually dropped by the government or Russia, which has carried out airstrikes over Syria since September 2015 in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
A sarin gas attack in August 2013 widely blamed on the Syrian regime left more than 1,300 people dead, according to US officials.