Last updated: 12 July, 2014

Mother of rescued Syria baby appeals for help

The mother of a two-month-old Syrian baby rescued from the rubble of a bombed Aleppo building appealed on Saturday for help to raise her son.

Mahmud Idlibi’s dramatic rescue in the flashpoint northern city, a constant target of regime air raids, was shown in a video tweeted Friday by the team that saved him.

The 30-second clip was posted by a group calling itself the “Aleppo civil defence”, volunteers who operate in rebel-held areas of the city.

It was also posted on YouTube.

Initially the team mistakenly identified the child as a girl but an AFP correspondent met the mother and child on Saturday.

The mother, Umm Mahmud, said her husband and daughter had been killed in an air raid in the southern Aleppo district of Al-Ansari that trapped the baby.

“It was June 18. We were asleep when suddenly I heard a loud explosion. I passed out and woke up in hospital,” she said.

“My husband and daughter were killed,” added the black-clad woman who has now been taken in by her brother in Aleppo’s Al-Mashad district.

“We desperately need help,” she said, her infant son next to her. “We have nobody left.”

Activists blamed regime warplanes for the deadly raid.

Mahmud’s rescuer, Khaled, told AFP his team had pulled three women and three men from the rubble before realising several hours later that a baby also needed rescuing.

“The boy was still alive and unhurt. He had spent hours under the rubble. It was a miracle,” he said.

In the video the baby is heard crying as its tiny body, completely covered in dust, is carefully extracted.

AFP could not initially independently verify the authenticity of the video which was posted nearly a month after the event, apparently because of technical problems.

Daily air strikes by regime forces have killed hundreds of people in rebel-held parts of Aleppo, drawing international condemnation.

More than 170,000 people have been killed in the three-year war, one third of them civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.