This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Civil Defense workers searching for victims under the rubble of a destroyed building after an airstrike by Syrian government forces, Maaret al-Numan, a town in south Idlib, Syria, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Rescue workers and activists say at least five, including three from the same family, have been killed in Syria's last rebel stronghold when warplanes targeted the building they live in, leveling it. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

Syrian boy survives bombing that killed his mother, siblings

May 30, 2019 - 8:18 am

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government warplanes dropped bombs on a residential building in the last rebel's stronghold on Thursday, pancaking it and killing at least five people, including a mother and her two children, rescue workers and activists said.

Video shot by the Syrian Civil Defense showed volunteers working to pull bodies and survivors from under the collapsed building in Maaret al-Numan, a town in southern Idlib that was hit in the airstrike.

The volunteers from the group also known as White Helmets pulled away at cement blocks to reach the lifeless body of a young boy. His father, standing behind the camera, wept, repeating his son's name, Abboudi, as rescuers mulled how to lift the heavy structure. A large bulldozer stood nearby.

Amid the frenzy, a younger boy emerged from a gap in the rubble with swollen red eyes, dusty hair and body, his shirt barely hanging on his body. Rescuers cheered. It was Abboudi's younger brother.

The mother and another sibling, a girl, were also killed in the bombing.

Activist-operated Baladi News agency also reported that five people were killed.

Syria's government escalated its offensive on the rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria, home to 3 million people. Bombs and shells rained on the crowded enclave, sending tens of thousands of civilians fleeing to safer areas in the north.

The U.N. has warned its humanitarian operations in the region are at risk.

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