Following news of a brutal chemical gas attack Tuesday in Idlib, a rebel-controlled city in northwestern Syria, a young girl who rose to international fame tweeting about her experiences growing up with civil war all around her has once again called on President Donald Trump to rethink his controversial travel ban. Dozens, including many children, were killed in Tuesday’s attack, and horrific images of dead and wounded children were emerging on social media in the wake of the massacre. The Syrian government was blamed for the attack, but, according to Reuters, military officials there denied being behind the strike and said the government would never use chemical weapons.
Nearly 60 were killed in the attack and at least 300 were wounded, according to reports.
Bana Alabed, a 7-year-old Syrian girl from Aleppo, who was evacuated in December and his now living in Turkey, has called out Trump’s travel ban on several occasions. On Tuesday, Alabed, whose Twitter account has amassed 360,000 followers not only documenting her life amid war but advocating for Syria’s children, tried to get the U.S. president’s attention again by posting a graphic and chilling image on her Twitter feed and tagging President Trump, who is also famous for his use of the social media platform, in the tweet. The photo she shared was originally disseminated on the Edlib Media Center Facbook page and shows the lifeless bodies of several young children who perished in the attack.
“This is today in Syria in #Idlib,” Alabed wrote on Twitter. “Hi @realdonaldtrump do you love this?”
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) April 4, 2017
This is just the latest appeal Alabed, a refugee, has made to Trump urging him to rethink the controversial travel ban he’s tried to implement twice by executive order. In both cases, U.S. federal judges have temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect. Of all the countries named in the ban, the order is most onerous for Syria. The ban stipulates a temporary halt to immigration to the U.S. of any kind from the war-torn nation. Alabed appears in a new documentary about the war and is seen — speaking directly to the camera, with tears in her eyes — imploring Trump not only to reconsider the travel ban, but to commit to helping the people of Syria caught in the war.
“Donald Trump, my name is Bana Alabed, and I am 7-years-old from Aleppo, Syria,” she says in a video clip from the film. “We are the children of Syria. We are not terrorists. We are like your children,” she pleads. “Please help us to stop the war. The children deserve life.”
It’s unclear whether her appeals have caught the attention of Trump yet. On Tuesday, however, the White House denounced the deadly chemical attack, but also blamed it on the Obama administration and its Syria policy, according to ABC News.
“Today’s attack is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he’d establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The U.S. stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.”
Less than a week ago, in New York City, Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the U.N. said the U.S. strategy toward Syria had shifted, and that it was no longer focused on overthrowing Assad. “You pick and choose your battles,” Haley told reporters. For children like Alabed, and those in the tragic photo she shared, messages like the one below seem to be falling on deaf ears among world leaders.
Dear friends, the children of Syria are still dying in the bombing. Together, we can help them. Togethers, we can save them. pic.twitter.com/E0mupshmDh
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) March 15, 2017