A Syrian mother has been pictured tenderly kissing the hand of her dead daughter after she was crushed to death in the city of Reyhanli, southeastern Turkey.
It is one of the most heart-wrenching images borne of the disaster so far and encapsulates the devastation and sorrow experienced by tens of thousands of people whose loved ones were lost amid this week’s brutal earthquakes.
The unnamed mother was seen looking on in despair as rescuers loaded her little girl’s lifeless corpse into a body bag for transportation to Syria for burial via van.
She took one last grief-stricken look at her daughter before zipping the bag shut, and was later seen leaning against the side of the van, clutching at the door handle with an expression of desolation etched across her face.
The heart-breaking scene of anguish and torment comes just days after a Turkish father was pictured sitting solemnly beside a collapsed building, refusing to let go of the cold hand of his daughter who could not escape and died beneath the debris.
A mother from Syria kisses the hand of her dead daughter, who was one of tens of thousands killed in this week’s earthquakes
The mother is pictured taking one last look at her daughter’s face before zipping up her body bag
A mother mourns the loss of her daughter, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023
Pictured: Father Mesut Hancer holds the hand of his daughter Irmakleyla, who was crushed to death when her home collapsed in Turkey. Monday’s first massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 4:17 am (0117 GMT), while many were still asleep in their beds
A woman mourns over the body of earthquake victim outside a hospital in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023
A man holds his son who was extracted from a collapsed building in Hatay, Turkey, after 80 hours. His condition is unclear
Search and rescue workers climb between gaps in the debris to find survivors
Though this week’s quakes erupted in southwestern Turkey, the number of Syrians impacted by the fallout is immense.
The disaster flattened much of Syria’s northwest, and the 10 provinces of Turkey affected by the tremors are home to the highest concentration of refugees in the world, most of them Syrians who fled across the border amid years of civil war.
Rescuers continued to pull yet more survivors from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings this morning, as international teams of aid workers and volunteers toil tirelessly to save as many people as possible in a feverish race against the clock.
The earthquake that razed thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria has become one of the deadliest quakes worldwide in more than a decade, and the worst in Turkey since 1939.
Despite the harrowing scenes of death and destruction seen the world over, stunning stories of bravery and fortune continue to emerge.
Each passing hour seems to bring a fresh glimmer of hope as another child or family is rescued.
But now than 72 hours have passed since the quakes, and those still trapped under the rubble have little chance of survival.
A woman mourns in front of a collapsed building on February 08, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday
A woman mourns over the bodies of earthquake victims outside a hospital in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023
An aerial view of collapsed buildings as search and rescue efforts continue after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit multiple provinces of Turkey on February 09, 2023
Seven-year-old girl Ikra Tasci is rescued by Israeli army, Hatzalah United and Turkish rescue teams after three days under the rubbles of a collapsed building in the city of Kahramanmaras, southeastern Turkey, 09 February 2023
Rescue teams, firemen and volunteers work on a collapsed building to evacuate a victim on February 9, 2023 in Elbistan, Turkey
People stand over the bodies of earthquake victims outside a hospital in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023
Five members of the same family are rescued from under the rubble of a five-storey building in Hatay, Turkey
A teenage boy is evacuated miraculously still alive after more than 80 hours under the rubble
For years, the people of Syria bore the brunt of bombardment and fighting amid a brutal civil war between Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition groups.
But even that didn’t prepare them for the new devastation and terror wreaked by this week’s earthquake.
The natural disaster piled on many human-made ones, multiplying the suffering in Syria and particularly the northern city of Aleppo.
Fighting largely halted in Aleppo in 2016, but only a small number of the numerous damaged and destroyed buildings had been rebuilt. The population has also more recently struggled with Syria’s economic downslide, which has sent food prices soaring and residents thrown into poverty.
Monday’s pre-dawn 7.8-magnitude quake, centred about 70 miles (112 kilometres) away in Turkey, jolted Aleppans awake and sent them fleeing into the street under a cold winter rain.
Dozens of buildings across the city collapsed, trapping thousands under layers of bricks and mortar.
Workers were still digging three days later through the rubble, looking for the dead and the survivors. Across southern Turkey and northern Syria, more than 17,500 people have been killed with the death toll expected to rise.
Search and rescue efforts continue in Aleppo, Syria
Survivors in Afrin are seen walking amid the rubble
Search and rescue efforts continue after earthquakes hit Afrin district of Aleppo, Syria, early February 9
A young girl is seen on the verge of tears as she sits amid the wreckage of her home in Afrin district of Aleppo
People warm themselves outside after their houses damaged or collapsed in devastating earthquakes in Afrin district of Aleppo, Syria
The earthquake was a new sort of terror – a shock even after what they endured during the war.
For Aleppo, the war was a long and brutal siege. Rebels captured the eastern part of the city in 2012, soon after Syria’s civil war began. For the next years, Russian-backed government forces battled to uproot them.
Syrian and Russian airstrikes and shelling flattened entire blocks. Bodies were found in the river dividing the two parts of the city. On the government-held western side, residents faced regular mortar and rocket fire from opposition fighters.
A final offensive led to months of urban fighting, finally ending in December 2016 with government victory. Opposition fighters and supporters were evacuated, and government control imposed over the entire city. Activist groups estimate some 31,000 people were killed in the four years of fighting, and almost the entire population of the eastern sector was displaced.
Aleppo became a symbol of how President Assad succeeded in clawing back most opposition-held territory around Syria’s heartland with backing from Russia and Iran at the cost of horrific destruction. The opposition holds a last, small enclave in the northwest, centred on Idlib province and parts of Aleppo province, which was also devastated by Monday’s quake.
But Aleppo never recovered. Any reconstruction has been by individuals. The city’s current population remains well below its pre-2011 population of 4.5 million. Much of the eastern sector remains in ruins and empty.
Buildings damaged during the war or built shoddily during the fighting regularly collapse. One collapse, on Jan. 22, left 16 people dead. Another in September killed 11 people, including three children.
But now Aleppo’s population – which had hoped for improvements after fighting ended – will only see things get worse.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk