News / Middle East

Wounded Syrians Treated at Secret Clinic in Lebanon

Henry Ridgwell

Syrians injured in the crackdown on anti-government protests are crossing into Lebanon to seek treatment. They can’t get treatment in Syria because they say hospitals there are often raided by security forces looking for protesters. One secret clinic in the Lebanese city of Tripoli has patients of all ages with horrific injuries from the fighting.

Amran, 6, is one of the youngest patients in this hospital. He has difficulty walking. When he shows his leg, it’s easy to see why. A chunk is missing from his shin. The hole is surrounded by red scar tissue.

"I’m here because they shot me,” Amran said. He was fleeing Syria with his mother when security forces opened fire. His mother survived unscathed. Amran will be disabled for life.

There are many other injured Syrian children at this private Tripoli clinic. The doctors asked us not to identify its whereabouts.

Patients hide their faces. Many are wounded anti-government protesters. They say if they were identified, their families in Syria would be tortured and killed.

With his laptop permanently connected to Facebook, Skype and YouTube, one army defector is keeping up his fight from his hospital bed via the Internet - distributing videos from inside Syria.

He gave us footage of a protest and funeral in Homs. With pride, he says he is the man in white on the shoulders of a friend - in Arabic, the ‘Kashoosh,’ the one who leads the chanting.

“I’m lucky to have a strong voice, and I’m also musical,” he said. “I used to put all my heart into it, and I used to be the one who used to chant, ‘The people want to downfall of the regime, the people want the regime to go.’''

His luck ran out four months ago - he was shot at a protest. The man on the bed next to him saved his life and took him on the highly dangerous route to Lebanon.

“Yes, this is a dangerous thing to do,” he said. “When we joined these protests we said we would either survive or die, that was our motto. I was part of Assad’s army. I defected because of what it did. This army is cruel, they go into people’s homes, it doesn’t matter if it is a child or an old person, the army would kill them.”

In the neighboring room, more wounded protesters. One shows us the bone fragments removed from his leg after he was shot.

“This is not sectarian. It’s Assad himself who wants there to be a civil war. He would use that against us,” said the protester. “He’s used everything else - warplanes, artillery. He’s done horrific things. You should see Baba Amr in Homs where I come from, you would cry if you saw how people are surviving.”

The patients here say they can’t get treatment in Syria because security forces regularly raid hospitals to arrest protesters. They say they are lucky to get treatment in Lebanon.

For the children in this clinic, luck and fortune have been brutally stolen away, by a conflict that does not discriminate by age.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs