Fatima and Hamza: The Tragedy of Two Children Fleeing Death in Ghouta

Mohammad Eid

06-03-2018 | 08:58

Fatima cannot forget the sight of the blood covering her father’s body nor her mother’s groaning. Her mother had to leave her little brother Hamza because she was hit by a deadly bullet.


Even the night could not hide the horror of the bloody scene on the road between Duma and the safe corridor created by the Syrian Arab Army for civilians to cross from the terrorist-controlled areas in Eastern Ghouta to the points under its control. Ten-year old Fatima was unable to do anything. She held her brother Hamza’s hand firmly and crawled in the orchards towards the nearest Syrian army checkpoint. Seeing the two children, one of the officers rushed to carry them to safety under the cover of friendly fire.

* The Dangerous Decision

Fatima tells Al-Ahed how her father made the dangerous decision to flee with the rest of the family to the safe area set up by the Syrian army for civilians to cross. The man knew that the armed groups in Douma would forcefully dissuade him from leaving as they did with many others who were shot and put in jail. He chose nightfall to be the zero hour to embark on the most dangerous task of his life. The man carried his daughter Fatima and his wife carried Hamzah and set off for freedom that was only a short walk through the orchards.

But the militants were able to spot him with his family and rained a barrage of bullets on them, punishing them for daring to flee. At this moment, Fatima had to grow up quickly and become the father, mother and sister to her little brother who was stunned at what he saw. As her mother groaned and her dying father repeated the Shahada, Fatima held her brother’s hand and crawled between the orchards and under fire towards the nearest Syrian army checkpoint.

One of the soldiers was alerted to a suspicious movement before shouting: “They are two children. Cover me so I can get to them.”

Thus, the night gave rise to two beautiful children trembling in fear and appealing to the army, whose soldiers and officers rushed to extend them a desperately needed lifeline and help them cross the line between slavery and freedom.


* The Mother of the Martyrs Embraces the Two Orphans

The Syrian army took Fatima and her brother Hamza to one of the shelters. Hamza appeared to be in shock. His sister Fatima was aware of this, so she hoped that we would not press him with questions. The scene of their parents’ death had not left the two children who were crying continuously. A Syrian army soldier took on the responsibility of comforting them, petting them and buying them the chocolate they desired. Grandma Um Muhammad, then, appeared to take on the daunting task of relieving Fatima and Hamza. Um Muhammad is a lady hailing from Diyabiya in Eastern Ghouta. Her husband and three children were killed fighting alongside the Syrian Arab Army.

She told Al-Ahed website, “I embraced Fatima and Hamza. I took them to a room in the shelter and gave them new clothes after showering. Then I initiated conversation with them to avoid silence in order for them not to slip into painful memories.”

Another lady from Douma waited for a long time at the safe corridor. She waited for her four married daughters, but to no avail. The embracing of Fatima and Hamza became her outlet for the longing that she felt for her daughters.

“I fear that a lot for my daughters are at home suffering from hunger in the first place. The terrorists are denying civilians food and only giving it to those who carry arms against the Syrian army,” she said.

“I hope my daughters succeed in getting out but not in the way that Fatima and her brother Hamza survived,” she added.

* All of Them Are Children With Woes

The shelter was full of children who made an effort to comfort Fatima and Hamza. Ahlam gets closer to Fatima, embraces her and holds her hands saying, “She is like my sister.” Fatima smiles at this love but her eyes never stop chasing her brother Hamza, who was taken by the other children to distract him. We ask Fatima about the people’s situation inside and if they wanted to get out. She immediately and without hesitation replies, “Yes, many before us tried to get out but were prevented by gunfire. There is injustice inside and hunger. Although the militants have a lot of food, yet they only give it to families whose children carry arms. They have raised the barricades to prevent people from going out and put some of them in prisons.”

The distraught smiles that Fatima timidly gave us were soon interrupted by Hamza’s cries, who was calling out to his mother. His sister Fatima rushes towards him, hugging him tightly and comforting him as much as she could. “Do not be sad my love, she is in heaven.”

With tears shed for their parents, who were unjustly slain by the gunmen at the passage to freedom, Fatima holds her brother’s hand leading him on to life’s mysterious ways after she led him through the night on the journey of death.

Source: Al-Ahed



Israeli Police Throw Tear Gas Grenade at Palestinian Couple with Baby

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RAMALLAH, March 3, 2018 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers were caught on tape on Friday firing a stun grenade at a Palestinian couple carrying an infant in the village of Burin, in the north of the West Bank, forcing them to run away, according to a tweet by the Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din.

“Soldiers and border police arrived to Burin today and according to residents threw tear gas and stun grenades at youths who gathered  after noticing 2 Israelis approaching from the direction of (the settlement of) Givat Ronen. A tear gas grenade landed in one of the houses where a large family lives,” it said.

“They continued to fire the tear gas and stun grenades even when the occupants were evacuated to the ambulance.”

In a video taken by a Yesh Din field researcher, a couple with a baby is seen fleeing to their home while a border police officer throws a stun grenade at them, it said.

Child marriage in the USA, “At least 207,468 minors married in the US between 2000 and 2015″

Anti-Child Bride Bill Stalls in Kentucky, Where Girls Aged 13 Can Marry

Frankfort, KY — A bill that would have banned adults from marrying children in Kentucky was struck down this week prompting outrage from politicians and activists alike.

Senate Bill 48, known as the “child bride” bill, was yanked from the agenda this week, just hours before a scheduled vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the second time in only two weeks that lawmakers have protected the depraved act of adults taking children as their spouses.

“SO disappointed! My SB 48 (outlaw child marriage) won’t be called for a vote,” sponsor  Julie Raque Adams, a Louisville Republican, said in a Tweet. “It is disgusting that lobbying organizations would embrace kids marrying adults. We see evidence of parents who are addicted, abusive, neglectful pushing their children into predatory arms. Appalling.”


Other people reacting to the bill were a little more outspoken in their response.

“This is legalized rape of children,” Eileen Recktenwald, the executive director of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs said. “We cannot allow that to continue in Kentucky, and I cannot believe we are even debating this is the year 2018 in the United States.”

Adams did not say who was lobbying against the bill, however, she noted that the opposition is allegedly concerned about parents’ rights.

As it stands, currently in Kentucky, teens under 18 can marry adults at ages 16 and 17 with the permission of their parents. However, according to the current law, it is up to a judge to decide if a child under the age of 16 can marry an adult—and the girl must be pregnant. For obvious reasons, critics of the current law claim that a pregnant 13, 14, or 15-year-old girl—impregnated by the adult they are to marry—is evidence of a sex crime as a child cannot consent to sex. But it is the law nonetheless.

As the Courier-Journal reports,

The bill would establish 18 as the legal age for marriage. Those who are 17 could marry with permission of a district judge, if the age difference between the 17-year-old and the other party is fewer than four years.

But in cases of a minor marrying an adult, the judge would have to review material including any child abuse records involving the teen and check for any sex-offender records of the adult. The judge also would have to consider factors including the maturity and independence of the teen, determine that the teen has completed high school or obtained a GED and review any domestic violence records of either party.

The judge is to deny the request in cases including if the adult is in a position of authority over the minor, has a conviction for child abuse or a sexual offense, or if there is a pregnancy or child in common that established that the intended spouse was the perpetrator of a sex crime against a girl too young to consent.

“I had some problems with the bill,” Sen. John Schickel, a Boone County Republican said Thursday in defiance of the bill. “Decisions involving a minor child should be made by a parent, not the court.”

However, other Republican lawmakers disagree.

“I know there are some concerns, but it’s 2018 and it’s definitely a problem,” Sen. Wil Schroder, a Wilder Republican and a co-sponsor of SB 48, said.

“Unfortunately, parents make bad decisions sometimes and sometimes judges make bad decisions.”

As TFTP has previously reported, this problem is not isolated to Kentucky. Laws across America have legalized pedophilia with children as young as 10-years-old and no one appears to be stopping it.

Girls as young as ten are among more than 200,000 children wed to adults in the United States in just the past 15 years, as — despite minimum requirements that a person reach the age of 18, or legal adulthood, nationally — a smattering of locations have preserved loopholes legally permitting child marriage.

Alarmingly, the number of children married away to fully mature adults could be much higher than the already-startling number — ten states provide only fragmentary statistics or none at all.

And the loopholes don’t exist solely in theory — adults across the U.S. have actively jumped at the opportunity to marry kids — even amid a decline in the number of marriages, overall.

To wit, three 10-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy were among the hundreds of thousands of children and minors the system somehow permitted adults to lock into marriage — despite their bodies and minds not yet being fully developed.

“At least 207,468 minors married in the US between 2000 and 2015, according to data compiled by Unchained At Last, a group campaigning to abolish child marriage, and investigative documentary series Frontline,” The Independent reports.

Indeed, exemptions from the national marriage minimum age of 18 exist for circumstances like pregnancy and parental consent — in every state in the country.

Most states allowing adults to take a child spouse require the consent of one or both parents, permission from a judge, or some combination thereof — however, there is a rather astonishing footnote to this underbelly of marriage and child love in the United States.

As Frontline noted in a special report,

“In 26 states, there’s no minimum marriage age, according to the Tahirih Justice Center. Children in those states can get married at any age if certain conditions are met.”

Yemeni Army Fires Ballistic Missile on Saudi and UAE Mercenaries in Southwestern Yemen


January 22, 2018

The Yemeni rocketry force fired on Monday a ballistic missile on Saudi and UAE mercenaries in Taiz in southwestern Yemen.

Military source at Yemen rocket unit told Yemen Press they had fired a ballistic missile branded Qaher M2 onto the gatherings of the Saudi and UAE mercenaries in Taiz.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

However, the allied forces of the Yemeni Army and popular committees established by Ansarullah revolutionaries have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means, inflicting huge losses upon Saudi-led forces.

The Saudi-led coalition – which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait – has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of the aggression.

Source: Al-Manar Website


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Palestine takes israel to ICC over detained children


Palestine takes Israel to ICC over detained children

The move came as Israel extended detention of 16-year-old girl Ahed al-Tamimi

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Palestinian Authority has submitted a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Israeli violations against Palestinian children.

The move came as Israeli authorities extended the detention of 16-year-old girl Ahed al-Tamimi for the fifth time on charges of attacking Israeli soldiers.

In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki called on ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to “exercise her legal authority without delay to prevent the continuation of crimes being committed against the Palestinian people.”

He cited the case of al-Tamimi, who was first detained by Israeli forces on Dec. 19 as “another proof on Israeli policies and crimes” against the Palestinians.

“This complaint against Israeli criminals is a proof on the necessity to accelerate the opening of a criminal investigation to guarantee fair justice to Palestinian children and victims,” he said.

Last week, the Palestinian Central Council announced the referral of the issues of Israeli settlement building and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to the ICC.

According to Palestinian figures, over 6,400 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 300 children.

Syrian Kids on Talent Show: Is the US Planning to Steal One-Third of Their Country?

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[ Ed. note – Yesterday I posted an article from Sputnik about a report suggesting that the US is now pursuing a new strategy, one aimed at establishing a 28,000-square-kilometer Kurdish enclave in eastern Syria. The area is said to be three times the size of Lebanon.

The report, according to Sputnik, is based on an article that appeared in Asharq al-Awsat. The latter is an international newspaper based in London but which reportedly has ties to the Saudi government–so the story may be fictitious, or at least questionable. But Sputnik, at any rate, gave it enough credence to post an article about it, and indeed what the report says–regarding US moves toward “diplomatically recognizing” a Kurdish-controlled area east of the Euphrates–seems entirely consistent with past US behavior…and Sputnik’s report on the matter included the map you see below:

The yellow area shows territory which, as of late 2017, was de facto controlled by Kurdish forces and their allies. The red outlines the part of the country remaining under Syrian government control. As you can see, the yellow area comprises roughly a third of the country, perhaps a little more. The news that the US is moving to “diplomatically recognize” the Kurdish area–if in fact the report is true–suggests that it is planning on setting up a Kurdish state. The establishment of a “Kurdistan” in the Middle East, as Sarah Abed has reported, would be seen by some as the establishment of a “second Israel.”

In my post of yesterday I commented that the partitioning of the country in this manner would be “an affront to the sacrifices made by the brave Syrians who fought and died for their country.” I got up early this morning and decided to see if I could find anything about the report on SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency. I didn’t find anything on it. But what I did find was an article about a group of Syrian children competing on “Voice Kids,“–apparently a reality-type talent show showcasing children that appears on TV in a number of countries (I don’t watch TV, so I tend not to keep up with these things).

Below is the article from SANA about the talented Syrian kids who have been selected to appear on the show–and beneath that a video of a Voice Kids segment that I found on YouTube and which in fact features one of the Syrian children singing. The song she sings is a plea for peace. “My land is small. Small like me. Give us peace,” she sings. The words, the entire performance really, is/are incredibly powerful. The song is entitled, “Give Us Our Childhood.”

These are talented children quite obviously–children who, we can presume, have had their entire childhoods stolen from them by the US with its evil, nefarious regime-change designs. Setting up a Kurdish state in eastern Syria serves no US interest. The only interest is serves is Israel’s.

US: Get Out of Syria!


13 Syrian Children Take Center Stage in Voice Kids Season 2


Damascus, SANA – 13 Syrian children have made their way to the second stage of the Voice Kids show in its second edition after they stunned the audience, viewers and judges with their adorable and talented performance in the blind auditions.

The Syrian children have been chosen among other 45 children from several Arab countries to move to the next round (battle stage).

The show’s panel consists of three Arab stars: Kazem al-Saher, Nancy Ajram and Tamer Hosny.

Ajram took the biggest share of Syrian talents, as her team included the 9-year old kids: Jessica Gharbi, Yaeel al-Qasem and Obai al-Fares, Komay Gharz Eddin (13 years old), Zain Ammar (10 years old), the twin Khaled & Abed al-Merhi (11 years old) and Taha Mohsen (12 years old).

Continued here


The US has already stolen their childhood. If it pursues this devious quest at setting up a Kurdish state in eastern Syria, it will effectively also be stealing one-third of their homeland. That in a nutshell is what it comes down to.

From the video description: “Syrian child brings judges and audience to tears singing ‘Give Us Our Childhood’”

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 31.12.2017

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

Bill Van AUKEN

The US-backed Saudi monarchy and its allied Gulf oil sheikdoms have dramatically escalated their bombing campaign against Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East, killing scores of civilians within the last few days.

In the bloodiest of the airstrikes, Saudi warplanes targeted a crowded marketplace in Yemen’s southwestern Taiz province on Tuesday, killing 54 civilians.

While coverage of the bloodbath by the US and Western media has been scarce, Yemen’s Al Masirah television network published photos on its website showing the market’s bombed-out shops and the dismembered remains of slaughtered civilians. It reported that body parts had been thrown hundreds of yards from the blast sites.

Among the dead were at least eight children. Another 32 people were wounded in the bombing, including six children.

On the same day, warplanes attacked a farm in the al-Tuhayta district of Yemen’s western Hodeida province killing an entire family of 14, including women and children.

Yemeni sources reported that Saudi and allied warplanes carried out more than 45 airstrikes on Wednesday targeting several Yemeni cities and killing at least another six civilians, including a family of five whose house was targeted in the port city of Hodeida.

According to the Al Masirah television network the number of Yemenis killed and wounded in Saudi airstrikes since the beginning of December had risen to 600 before the latest round of casualties beginning on Tuesday.

This bloody new phase in the more than 1,000-day-old war by the wealthy and reactionary Arab monarchies against impoverished Yemen is driven by the House of Saud’s frustration over its inability to shift the military stalemate and made possible by the unrestrained support from Riyadh’s Western allies, principally the US and Britain.

The stepped up bombing campaign has come partly in response to the failure of a Saudi-backed coup by the former Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh against his erstwhile allies, the Houthi rebel movement. The abortive effort ended in Saleh’s death and the routing of his supporters earlier this month.

Riyadh has also been shaken by the firing of missiles from Yemen targeting both the international airport and the House of Saud’s royal palace. Both missiles were brought down without causing any casualties.

Washington has long relied upon the Saudi monarchy as a pillar of reaction in the Arab world, arming it to the teeth and in the process reaping vast profits for US arms corporations.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia in May, US President Donald Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi regime. While the agreement represented the single largest arms deal in US history, it represented a continuity with the policy pursued by the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, which had struck a $29 billion agreement to sell F-15s the Saudis—representing the previous largest single US arms deal—and had a total of $100 billion worth of weaponry slated for sale to the kingdom.

In addition to providing the warplanes, bombs and missiles being used to slaughter Yemeni civilians, Washington is a direct accomplice and participant in the assault on Yemen, a flagrant war crime that has produced the greatest humanitarian catastrophe on the face of the planet. US Air Force planes are flying refueling missions that keep Saudi fighter bombers in the air, while US intelligence officers are assisting in the targeting of airstrikes and US warships are backing a Saudi sea blockade that is part of a barbaric siege of the country aimed at starving its population into submission.

While an estimated 13,600 civilians have lost their lives to the US-backed Saudi military campaign launched in March of 2015, that death toll has been massively eclipsed by the number of lives lost to hunger and disease resulting from the destruction of basic water and sanitary infrastructure, along with factories, farms, medical facilities and other vital resources, and the blockading of food, medicine and humanitarian supplies.

Almost three years into the war, 21.2 million people, 82 percent of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, lacking access to food, fuel and clean water,. An estimated 8 million people are on the brink of starvation, while soaring food prices have placed essential commodities out of reach for all but the wealthiest layers of Yemeni society.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced last week that the number of cholera cases had topped 1 million, the worst epidemic in modern history, while the country has also been hit by an outbreak of diphtheria, a disease that has been almost entirely eradicated in the rest of the world.

The apocalyptic scale of the human suffering in Yemen has moved some in the West to make timid criticisms of the Saudi regime. Thus, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly called Saudi King Salman on December 24 to advocate a “complete lifting’ of the blockade of Yemen. Macron made no move, however, to amend the 455 million euro arms deal struck with Riyadh by his predecessor, François Hollande, providing weapons being used to murder Yemeni civilians.

Similarly, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick pointed to the latest mass casualties resulting from Saudi bombings to condemn the “complete disregard for human life that all parties, including the Saudi-led coalition, continue to show in this absurd war.”

The reality is that the overwhelming majority of deaths have been caused by illegal Saudi aggression. The war, from the standpoint of both Riyadh and Washington, moreover, is not “absurd,” but rather part of a broader regional strategy being pursued by US imperialism to prepare for a military confrontation with Iran, which has emerged as an obstacle to the drive to assert American hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.

Finally, the New York Times published an editorial Thursday saturated with hypocrisy and deceit. Titled “The Yemen Crucible,” it accuses the Trump administration of applying “a double standard” to the catastrophe in Yemen by denouncing alleged Iranian arms support for the Houthi rebels, while “having nothing bad to say” about the Saudi bombing campaign.

The Times, a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party establishment, raises the possibility that Iran “could be in violation” of a UN Security Council resolution barring it from the export of missiles and other weapons, and guilty of “escalating a crisis” that could lead to war with Saudi Arabia.

Referring to the recent performance of the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who appeared at a US military hangar in Washington with what was claimed to be debris from an Iranian-supplied missile fire by the Houthi rebels at Riyadh, the newspaper acknowledged that the presentation recalled the “weapons of mass destruction” speech delivered by then US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council in preparation for the US invasion of Iraq.

Of course the Times supported that war of aggression in 2003 and became one of the main propagandists of the “weapons of mass destruction” lie used to justify it.

The editorial utters not a word of criticism of US arms sales to the Saudi regime—much less about the Obama administration’s initiation of Washington’s support for the war on Yemen—and concludes with claims of seeing signs that the Trump administration is exerting “constructive influence on the Saudis.”

These lies and omissions make clear that if and when Washington embarks on a potentially world catastrophic war against Iran, the “newspaper of record” will once again provide its services as a propaganda organ for American militarism.


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