Testimonies collected in the Idlib area, Syria, in mid-January 2013
March 7, 2013
A. was injured while waiting in a bread queue in Halfaya.
He’s 35 years old.
A suffered severe injuries to his shoulder and right hand when a plane dropped missiles on the bakery queue he was waiting in with hundreds of other people in Halfaya,Hama province.
At the MSF hospital, a surgeon cleaned his wound and the parts of it that had become necrotic; they also sutured the small wounds on his face. But size of the wound on A’s left shoulder and the severity of the injury to his right hand meant that he had to be transferred to a hospital in Turkey for reconstructive surgery. The MSF facility isn’t equipped to carry out such complex procedures.
One afternoon at the end of December, I was waiting at the bakery in Halfaya to buy some bread. I’d been waiting for three hours – it’s the only bakery in town that’s still open. There was a long queue of around 300 people waiting for bread. Suddenly a plane flew overhead and two missiles hit us.
I felt disoriented, like my lips and tongue were burning. Wounded people were loaded into vehicles. They took me to a health centre first by wheelbarrow, then by motorcycle taxi. I was totally dazed for three days. The second day, my brother brought me to another medical centre before finally bringing me by truck here to the MSF hospital where they operated on me. I still can’t really hear – there’s like a buzzing in my ear.
The incredible thing is that my two daughters came away from it without a scratch. A semi-collapsed wall protected them from the shrapnels, so they only had a few scrapes.’