Syrian Girl Who Went Viral Laughing At Bombs In Idlib Makes It To Safety In Turkey


Wednesday, March 4th 2020, 5:09 am
By: CBS News, Associated Press


Video of three-year-old Salwa Mohammad laughing at the sound of bombs slamming down near her home in Syria's last frontline city of Iblid went viral last month. Desperate to help his daughter get over her fear of the bombing raids, Abdullah Mohammad made a game out of it, showing her videos of other children letting off fireworks with glee and teaching her that loud noises can be funny.

According to BBC News, he said the unusual tactic changed his daughter's attitude to the thunder of war, helping her keep calm and happy throughout the bombings.

Relentless bombing raids have left hundreds dead in Idlib since the Russian-backed offensive by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces began late last year, aiming to reclaim the last urban area held by rebels. The United Nations says about 1 million people have fled their homes in the region.

Video of the toddler giggling through the bombings brought an outpouring of sympathy, and according to the BBC, prompted the Turkish government to help the family flee across the border.

Turkish media said they crossed into the country on February 25 and were taken to a refugee camp in Reyhanli, in southern Turkey.

Turkey is currently hosting 3.7 million Syrian refugees and has sent thousands of troops into northwest Syria to support Syrian rebels battling to maintain their last major foothold in the country.

Mohammad told Turkish media he was happy to be in Turkey and that Salwa would get the chance to go to school, but he added: "I hope that the conflict in Syria can soon end and that I can return."

First published on March 4, 2020 / 7:37 AM

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.