Does it really take such horror for the world to start paying attention?

Note: This story contains graphic imagery.

Normally I have words. I have written millions of words in my lifetime. But how do you write about 25 children being killed in a suspected chemical attack?

Does it matter where they are from?

They died frothing at the mouth. Foam filling their nose. Unable to breathe. The children and babies killed reportedly died gasping, having seizures. Their tiny, already too skinny, limbs suddenly still.

The pictures are yet to be verified, but they show bodies wrapped in blankets and lying on the dirt. Some are heaped on the back of trucks. The smallest bodies wearing nappies.

The children are from Syria.

It is being a called a massacre by many.

“One of the deadliest chemical attacks of the country’s six-year war, according to doctors, rescue workers and witnesses,” The Washington Post reported yesterday.

“At least 83 people died — including 25 children — and at least 350 others were injured in the incident in northern Idlib province, southwest of Aleppo,” NBC reported.


Hundreds more have been critically injured. There are reports the fingers of medical staff burn when they touch the skin of the dead children; that children’s bodies lie on the floors of hospitals waiting to be treated. Doctors say entire families have been killed by the chemical airstrike while they slept.

The Syrian government has denied any involvement in the airstrike attack in the rebel held area, but they have used chemical weapons before. There are reports this is the third chemical attack in a week.

“In this most recent attack, dozens of children suffocated to death while they slept,” Ahmad Tarakji, the head of the Syrian American Medical Society (Sams), told The Guardian.

“This should strike at the very core of our humanity. How much longer will the world fail to respond to these heinous crimes?”

Can we answer that?

What’s it going to take? 300 babies in nappies, foaming at the mouth, convulsing until they die? 600?

Maybe it will take the death of two young blonde female foreign aid workers frothing at the mouth? Maybe then we will listen, be outraged, demand something to be done.

World leaders have expressed outrage about the attack. Some have even said it amounts to a war crime.

Birds have reportedly fallen from the sky. Dead bodies wearing nappies on the backs of trucks. Those alive struggling to breathe, lucky to be cradled in someone’s arms.

These are children. These are babies who should be growing and playing, laughing and marvelling at how their tummy feels funny when they go really high on a swing.

This morning, as many as 100 people were killed in an alleged chemical attack in the Idlib province of Syria, southwest of Aleppo. Many of the dead are children. . Reports from the attack site describe hundreds of people passing out and going into convulsions. Many of the victims reportedly suffocated to death. There are also allegations that local medical centers were bombed after the initial attack. . We’ll share more about the situation in Syria shortly. But right now, we’re responding to victims of today’s attack—to provide things like medical care and help for families who were evacuated. . If you’d like to help, please give today. Link in profile. Stay tuned for more. #Syria #Idlib #savelives #loveanyway

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Now these children are dead. They are right in front of us and we turn away.

What do we watch instead?

There are no words.

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