Syria: Chemical attack survivors vow to fight for justice

Reyhanli, Turkey – Last week, Abdul Hamid al-Yousef lost the loves of his life.

His wife Dalal and their nine-month-old twins, Aya and Ahmed, were among the dozens killed as a result of a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian city of Khan Sheikhoun – a tragedy Abdul Hamid still cannot fathom, and a trauma he says he will never overcome.

“It was a huge disaster,” Yousef says, before emotion overtakes him.

In all, more than 20 members of the Yousef family died on April 4 – a day in which horrific images like the ones showing Abdul Hamid cradling the bodies of his dead children shocked the world.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Reyhanli, Turkey, Yousef, who blames the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the attack, said his pain is unrelenting.

“I’m going to try, as much as possible, to fight the regime through the media,” he said.

“I’m not going to abandon my country. God willing, I’ll return to Syria – because we started our revolution six years ago and we still demand freedom and justice.”

Other members of the Yousef family who survived the attack are also in Reyhanli – and also still stunned.

One of them is Yousef’s cousin, Alaa, who on Monday received even more bad news.

“My wife was affected by the chemicals as we all were,” Alaa al-Yousef said.

“When I took her to the hospital she was pregnant. At the beginning, we didn’t know if the baby had been affected. Today she got tired and they took her back to the hospital. I was shocked when she told me she lost the baby.”

Like so many Syrians who have experienced the brutality of their country’s war, members of the Yousef family are not just sad.

They are also scared and fearful that despite international warnings – including from the US – to Assad, the killing in Syria from both conventional and chemical weapons will continue.

When talk turns to the missile strikes launched by the US army last week on Syria’s Shayrat airbase in response to the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Yousef’s brother, Mohammed, is skeptical.

“It didn’t change things for the better, it changed them for the worse,” Mohammed al-Yousef said.

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Source By http://www.aljazeera.com

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