Abdul Wahab: The seven-month-old baby who froze to death in a Syrian refugee camp

  • This report contains images some readers may find distressing

Pictures are what make television news, but sometimes those pictures are too dreadful to show.

On Wednesday we received footage that was neither violent nor bloody, but in its own way too dreadful to be broadcast.

Filmed on a family’s phone it showed a beautiful, chubby-cheeked baby being washed and dressed by his mother.

Seven-month-old Abdul Wahab was being put in a white baby grow.

He didn’t wriggle, he didn’t cry.

He couldn’t because he froze to death in the makeshift house his family now call home.

Baby Abdul with his family. Credit: Family handout/ITV News

As his mother wept, moving his tiny arms, she asked over and over again how could her little boy really be dead?

He looked exactly as he had when she had put him to bed just hours earlier.

It was his elder brother who had first noticed there was something wrong.

He’d gone to play with Abdul Wahab but when the baby didn’t respond he’d shouted for his mum.

There was nothing anyone could do.

The doctor at the clinic wasn’t surprised.

This wasn’t the only child who had frozen to death in the camp on the Turkish border.

Babies shouldn’t live in tents in -7C (19.4F) but as a result of the relentless attacks on Idlib and other Syrian towns, thousands now do.

Their families seek shelter from the bombs and bullets in these camps but death still stalks them and the cold will kill them.

Abdul Wahab’s family also sent us two photos of their little boy.

One in life, wearing a baby-gro with the words “unbelievably cute” on it.

The other in death, with small bunches of greenery around him.

There are no flowers in the desperate wastes where they now live so at seven months old the little boy was laid to rest surrounded by weeds.