Sleeping four-year-old amongst casualties in Syria during 'bloody week' of bombing

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers

Khaled was asleep with his pet cat when a rocket hit his bedroom. He was buried under rubble, but found and rescued by The White Helmets as his mother and brothers looked on and screamed in horror.

As the area comes under bombardment from rockets and airstrikes, the four-year-old is one of 325 people known to be injured this week alone in Idlib province, according to figures by the Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS) to ITV News.

He was rushed to the SAMS hospital, where the true gravity of the tragedy taking place here becomes apparent.

There are half a dozen other children in the Emergency Room - their injuries ranging from cuts to severe burns.

Khaled is lucky, he's alive. But he's been left in pain with a broken arm, leg and several nasty lacerations.

Despite the odds, this little survivor is determined.

Khaled, who's five-years-old, was rescued from under the rubble of his home. Credit: ITV News

Two days later, ITV News spoke to Khalid's family.

He had had an operation and is still under doctors' care at the hospital.

But when he left, he'd be leaving for a house destroyed by bombing - becoming another displaced person through this bloody war.

His mother described her desperation after the bomb hit their family home.

She said: "A rocket hit our home, I could not see anything, just dust and smoke.

"I started counting my children and there was one missing. I couldn't work out who, so I started shouting their names."

Dr Ahmad Tarakji, president of SAMS, said: "The airstrikes are targeting the towns repetitively to permanently displace the people.

"This is why we are seeing a high number of children injured and killed. The medical staff is committed to serve their communities despite deliberately targeting the hospitals.

"Since the UNSC 2286 to protect hospitals and medical staff, we lost one medical personnel every week on average."

Khaled's mum talks to the doctor at a hospital in Idlib. Credit: ITV News

The bombing comes during a bloody week when the British government joined the UN in called for Russia to stop its bombing campaign in Syria.

The British Government appealed to Syria and Russia to stop air and artillery strikes against hospitals and schools to "stop the horror and senseless attacks" and help those suffering.

Russia responded, saying the escalation is solely due to the aggressive actions of terrorists.

On Sunday, President Trump accused Russia, Syria and Iran of escalating violence in the Idlib region, calling on those countries to stop carrying out bombings in the province.

Joining the condemnation is Professor David Nott OBE. The British doctor working in Syria has been key to raising awareness of the situation.

He told ITV News: "Attacking hospitals and medical staff is a crime against humanity, quite apart from also being in contravention of the Geneva Convention and is happening in plain sight.

"If we are not prepared to stop this militarily, the bare minimum we should do is to name and shame those Syrian and Russian aircraft which are carrying out these attacks for future prosecution in the International Criminal Court."

Speaking to ITV News, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Director of Doctors Under Fire, said: "There have been 29 attacks on hospitals in the past six weeks by Russian and Syrian aircraft, with many now out of commission.

"A handful of hospitals and doctors are now trying to care for three million civilians."

He added he is "determined to keep the pressure on politicians, particularly ministers, in Westminster to act proactively to save civilians in Idlib.

"We must do all we can to stop direct targeting of hospitals, schools and civilians."

The United Nations said an estimated 330,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since the May 1.