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Paul McLoughlin

Heart-breaking video shows the world what awaits Aleppo

The boy was seen tripping as he fled a bombardment by suspected Russian bombers [Aleppo24]

Date of publication: 5 November, 2016

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Heart-rending footage showing a terrified Syrian toddler fleeing a suspected Russian air raid comes as fears mount of Moscow's preparations for a massive blitzkrieg on Aleppo.
Among the screams and the terror of the men and women fleeing down a road mangled by another Russian bombing comes the distant, high-pitched cries of a small child.

From the direction of the bomb site, a stunned toddler covered in dust comes into focus and trundles towards the small crowd with his hands stretched upwards pleading for help.

His tiny legs give way as he races down the rubble strewn pathway to the adults but he soon stumbles face down to the ground.

The cameraman busy assisting other shell-shocked residents spots the boy and dashes towards him.

In a heartbreaking moment he picks up the terrified boy from the rubble and carries him away in his arms to safety.

They pass the torn-up bodies of other children who might be the boy's siblings or friends, playing with as the bombs struck.

Blitzkrieg

The video was shot during Friday's bombing of Kafrnaha, Aleppo province. In 43 seconds it encapsulates the human essence of the Syrian war so commonly dehumanised through death tolls, rhetoric, and land won or lost.

The daily reports of Russian air raids killing 10, or 20, or 100 Syrians, fail to articulate the sheer terror and destruction on the ground.

Nor does it provide the victims trapped in this merciless war with any form of justice.

In this attack at least 17 people lost their lives. But as witnesses of the video can see many victims were barely into infancy. 

The carnage the toddler witnessed will likely haunt him for the rest of his lifetime, as the bombing and shelling lingers in the minds of millions of Syrians.

Setting up

As convoys of Syrian regime troops head northwards to Aleppo, and the Russian northern fleet sails into position in the eastern Mediterranean, many are expecting an unprecedented assault on the city.

Russian firepower has increased exponentially with the arrival of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and other vessels from Moscow's navy.

Russia will likely launch dozens of air raids and barrages of cruise missiles on the helpless residents of East Aleppo. It will probably push previous carnage into the shadows.

Most cynically, many are expecting the blitzkrieg to begin when the eyes of the world are focused on the US elections.

Whatever your views on the race for the White House, it is a cruel irony that Damascus will try and wipe out a revolution for liberty and dignity during one of the world's biggest displays of democracy.

Russia has made it clear not only does it want to prop up President Bashar al-Assad but also use Syria as a testing ground for it latest weaponry.

With this admission Moscow is balancing cold geopolitical logic with murderous salesmanship.

While the world stood by, pro-democracy movements have been left at the mercy of barrel bombs, missiles, and extremist groups.

Again, the US will be aghast but passive when Russia unleashes its deadly arsenal on a revolution still taking toddler steps to freedom and a people trapped in ghoulish limbo.

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