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Noor and Alaa Khatib. (Twitter)

‘Save the children’

2 young sisters make devastating plea for help after Syrian warplanes destroy their home

By Kyle Jones on February 23, 2018

As Russian-backed Syrian forces continue to relentlessly bomb the 400,000 civilians living in eastern Ghouta, two terrified children have taken to Twitter in a desperate call for help. On Thursday, Noor Khatib, 10, and her sister, Alaa, 8, shared a video taken shortly after a nearby bombing shattered their windows and slashed open Alaa’s forehead. In the video, the children can be seen crying in pain and fear as dust and debris from the bombing swirls like a thick fog both inside and outside the house.

“Yesterday, it was very difficult. Warplanes destroyed our building and our neighborhood,” said Noor on Friday, speaking in English so that a broader audience could hear her message.

“Look at our neighborhood,” she added, panning the camera around to show the rubble and destruction that surrounded her and her sister. In other videos shared on Noor and Alaa’s Twitter account, warplanes and explosions can be heard as the children cower in terror.

CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata reached out to the children’s mother after the bombing, only to be asked why nobody was doing anything to help them.

“Please help us. We are in danger. The world is just watching what is happening Gouta. Why? Why? Why won’t you help us?” asked Shamsa Khatib, distraught. “We are dying of hunger. We are in need of food and safety and freedom. Please help us.”

In another Twitter video, her children echoed her plea.

“The children are in danger of being murdered,” said Noor. “Save the children of Ghouta before it’s too late.”

Watch video of CBS News’ interview with Noor and Alaa’s mother below.

Last week at the Women in the World Los Angeles salon, Dr. Rola Hallam appeared onstage conversation with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon of the Council on Foreign Relations, and discussed this very crisis. Hallam spoke of the the nearly 3 million people who remain trapped in a war, seven years on, that no longer captures the world’s attention — despite unspeakable human suffering. Below, watch highlights from Hallam’s appearance.


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