Story of a displaced child from Afrin at the door of death in Tal Rifaat

Aleppo Northern – NPA
Dejla Khalil


Adham survived the death grip, which showed no mercy on eight of his peers, threw him on a bed of a hospital in a distant village, while death still circling from the north, as it marked hours before, the screams of Adham and his family, and a number of other displaced people, who were targeted in the town of Tal Rifaat, northern Aleppo, coming from Afrin which was completely looted by the newly brought settlers, just like what death has done to the child's foot.

On a bed in the faraway village of Fafin in northern Aleppo countryside, close to where the massacre took place – Tal Rifaat, the Afrini child Adham told his story in broken words, answering the questions asked by North-Press after the massacre.


Adham, who saw dead bodies with his own eyes, began to understand what had happened to him, and his nine-year-old brother Elias, who was hit in the same bombing, while their parents couldn't understand that their child would remain with no foot, after it had been amputated as a result of the serious injury he sustained by the Turkish heavy bombardment on Tal-Rifaat.

On the 2nd of December, the rocket was fired at a children's playground, who were displaced by a previous Turkish military operation from Afrin region, which in turn had undergone thousands of similar bombings when it was attacked in January 2018. The shrapnel hit the six-year-old Adham, from the village of Jagli Tahtani of Sheikh Hadid district, in Afrin region, and raised his parents' questions about the future of their child with one foot.

"I lost my foot, the shell hit my legs, one was hit and the other was amputated," Adham told North-Press, referring to where he was sitting on the sidewalk when the shell fell near him. "I was sitting there and got injured. Five children died, one of whom his face was filled with blood," Adham added.

The condition of Adham kept him in bed, while his father spoke to North-Press with eyes full of tears, as the screams of his  two children were filling the place, just like their father's tears. “We came out of Afrin, after being targeted by the Turkish military and the Turkish-backed armed group’s aerial and ground bombardment, I tried to save my children," said Muhammed Hesso, the father of the Two affected children.

The Turkish shelling that missed the family in Afrin, has reached them in their displacement refuge, in Tal-Rifaat, Adham and Elias. "The shells chased us here, our life is destroyed, after my little child lost his foot, how will he continue his life?" Hesso wondered with broken voice.


Elias, the older brother was more fortunate than Adham. Despite being hit by shrapnel – while he was playing with a young puppy – he was able to feel his foot, which was completely hit. Rukan, the mother of the two children, described the first scenes of her family after the moment of the massacre, telling North-Press: "I saw my eldest child crawling into the house bleeding, I looked for my other child, but did not find him, then we went to the hospital where Adham was transferred, and to find his leg was amputated.”

On Monday, the second day of December, was a day to change the course of Adham's life, while death selected 10 displaced people from Afrin, including 8 children, to accompany it to the other life, leaving in the first one 12 injuries lying on beds close to Adham or far.


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