Parents Trying to Save Kids from Daesh in Syria Lose Them in Gaziantep Attack*

Parents Trying to Save Kids from Daesh in Syria Lose Them in Gaziantep Attack*

On August 20, a suicide bomber targeting a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep blew himself up, killing over fifty people and injuring over a hundred more. Among the dead were two Syrian children – nine year old Fatma Abdullah and eight year old Usama Cuma. Their parents had fled Syria to escape Daesh, but ended up losing them to terror in Turkey.

The death toll from a suicide bomb blast in Gaziantep, southern Turkey on Saturday night has reached 54, with 66 people listed as wounded, among them 14 who are critically wounded. The Turkish government says the Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) terrorist group is likely to be responsible for the attack.

Among the victims were two children of Syrian refugees who came to Turkey in search of peace and safety, after their homes in Syria were conquered terrorists.

36-year-old Ahmet Abdullah, the bereaved father of Fatma, told Sputnik Turkey that he came to Gaziantep from Aleppo three years ago.

“”We moved to Gaziantep to save our children and to try and lead a normal life. I work in a shoe factory. That evening, when the explosion occurred, we immediately rushed to the scene to see what had happened, because our home is very close by, in the same quarter. At that moment we did not yet know that our daughter had been killed.”

“It was very late when our neighbours told us the tragic news. It turned out that when the bomb exploded, Fatma was playing in the street next to the house where the wedding was taking place. After hearing this, I lost consciousness and was taken to hospital. Our neighbours helped us with the funeral for our daughter.

“Words cannot begin to describe the state we’re in,” Ahmet said.

“I am tormented by a single thought: how can I live without my Fatma? Our family has been crushed by this event. My two other children are afraid to go outside; they are constantly crying, remembering their sister.”

37-year-old Syrian refugee Hasan Cuma, who lost his son Usama, has a similar story to tell.

“I have three children. When the war in Syria began, we moved first to Aleppo, and then to a village on the Turkish-Syrian border. Eventually, Islamist militants made it unsafe to be there, and we fled to Gaziantep. I have been working here for four years in a textile factory.”

Hasan Cuma (left), another Syrian refugee, speaking to Sputnik reporter. His son Usama was killed in Saturday’s attack; his other son, Hussein, is in intensive care.

Hasan noted that on that fateful evening, his two boys

“had gone to a grocery store near the home where the wedding celebration took place. I gave them some money and told them to come back as soon as possible. A few minutes later, there was a powerful explosion. We immediately ran to the scene, and saw a lot of ambulances, a lot of people who had been wounded and killed.”

“I rushed to look for my children – one was hit by the shockwave and thrown to the curb, the second was lying right in the epicentre of the blast. We took them to the hospital by car. My younger son was wounded; his older brother wasn’t breathing. We spent the whole night in the hospital, waiting for the doctors to come out of the operating to tell us about our children. In the morning, we were told that our eldest, Usama, had died. His younger brother, Hussein, is now in intensive care, and was severely wounded. My wife is crying constantly; there is no relief to our grief.”

Hasan’s boys Usama (left) and Hussein


Muhbet Akdogan, the mother of the groom at the wedding, who was wounded and is now being treated at Gaziantep Central Hospital, offered new details on the terrorist attack:

“That evening, the guests were dancing and having a good time. I was looking for my older sister – I had to ask her something. At that moment I saw a person in a suicide belt; it was not a child [as reported earlier by authorities] but an adult. When he realized that I had noticed him, he rushed straight into the crowd of guests. A few seconds later there was an explosion. Around me were dead and wounded. I too was hurt, and was taken to hospital. Many of our family members were killed.”


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