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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid