The Slatest

Brother of Boy Who Became Face of Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Dies

Five-year-old Omran Daqneesh sits inside an ambulance after he was rescued following an airstrike in the rebel-held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday.

Reuters/Social media

The photograph of a bloodied and dazed 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh was the latest haunting reminder this past week of the suffering caused by the five-year civil war in Syria. The image of the confused Omran trying to wipe the blood off his head while caked in dust and seemingly unaware of his injuries after he was rescued from the rubble of a building in Aleppo gained worldwide attention. But on Saturday the story took an even more tragic turn when Omran’s older brother, 10-year-old Ali Daqneesh, died from the injuries he sustained in the blast that destroyed their family’s home on Wednesday.

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“He was martyred while in hospital as a result of the same bombardment that their house was subjected to,” said the spokesman for the local council of Aleppo.

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“Omran became the ‘global symbol of Aleppo’s suffering’ but to most people he is just that—a symbol,” Kenan Rahmani, a Syrian activist, wrote on Facebook. “Ali is the reality: that no story in Syria has a happy ending.”

Ali’s death came a day after UNICEF’s executive director, Anthony Lake, called on the international community to “extend the same empathy to the more than 100,000 children also trapped in the horror that is Aleppo.” Yet “empathy is not enough,” Lake wrote. “Empathy and outrage must be matched by action.”

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