Syria: Reports of 'napalm-like' bomb attack on Aleppo playground emerge after MPs vote against military action

BBC Panorama reveals footage suggesting a fighter jet dropped an incendiary device on school children, killing at least 10

Adam Withnall
Friday 30 August 2013 17:21


A playground full of children in northern Syria has been bombed by a fighter jet with a napalm-like substance, according to disturbing new footage captured by the BBC Panorama programme.

Eye witnesses described how a jet had passed the school in Aleppo numerous times, as if it searching for a target, before it dropped the bomb.

At least 10 children were killed and many more were injured, according to the report from Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway.

A large number of those who survived had burns to more than 50 per cent of their bodies, meaning that they were more likely than not to die as well.

Both adults and children were filmed arriving at a basic hospital, with their clothes burned from their bodies and their skin coated in a white substance which the BBC said suggested the bomb contained something like napalm or thermite.

Though he refused to be identified in the report, the school’s headmaster spoke out about the terrible scenes.

He said: “This was the most horrific thing. We have seen images on TV, we have heard many stories, but we have never seen anything like this before.

”The worst thing in life is watching someone die right in front of you and you can't do anything.

“There were dead people, people burning and people running away, but where to? Where would they go? It is not safe anywhere. That is the fate of the Syrian people.”

The BBC said that in Syria, large gatherings of people are regularly targets for bombings, even if they are just waiting outside bakeries, markets – or schools.

A British medic, Dr Rola, working in Syria with the charity Hand In Hand, was among those providing treatment to the victims.

She told reporters: “It is just absolute chaos and carnage here. We have had a massive influx of what looks like serious burns, seems like it must be some sort of, not really sure, maybe napalm, something similar to that.

”But obviously within the chaos of the situation it is very difficult to know exactly what is going on.“

In a moment of reflection later, Dr Rola said: ”We feel like some sort of, not even a second class citizen, like we just don't matter. Like all of these children, and all of these people who are being killed and massacred, we don't matter.

“The whole world has failed our nation and it is innocent civilians who are paying the price.”

British medic Dr Rola, working with the charity Hand In Hand, helped treat victims

Mohammed Abdullatif, one of the witnesses on the ground at the time of the attack, said he had a message for the United Nations.

“You are calling for peace. What kind of peace are you calling for? Don't you see this, don't you see this? What do you need to see?

”We are just human beings, we want to live. It is our right to live,“ he said.

The report came as MPs in the House of Commons voted against military intervention in Syria.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. The attack left victims with horrific burns and covered with a white substance, suggesting napalm or thermite was contained in the bomb
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BBC reporter Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway filmed the aftermath of the playground bombing
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BBC Panorama has released footage of an apparent incendiary bombing of a playground in Aleppo, northern Syria, with 15-year-old Ahmed (pictured) among those injured

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