I’m “R.A,” and I am 30 years old from Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

On April 4, 2017, between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, while I was at home in Khan Sheikhoun, I heard a clear explosion. I rushed to the door and saw smoke rising in the sky of the neighborhood  where I lived, just across from the national automated bakery.

I quickly went inside, washed my face, dressed fast, and headed to my workplace, where I worked at a mobile phone repair shop. My workplace was very close to the location where the missile dropped, at that time, I didn’t know that it contained chemical substances. However, I could hear civilians screaming for help because the ambulances were delayed due to the confusion and abnormal movement in the city.

I closed my shop and  rushed to the targeted location. Upon my arrival, I began to feel suffocated. I tried to breathe but couldn’t. as far as I know the suffocation is to prevent someone from breathing , but I was breathing chemical-polluted air. I felt like I was going to lose my life, so I rushed back to my workplace, which I reached hard. To my surprise, my neighbor was also experiencing what I was going through. He was hardly breathing, asking me to help him. I told him that I had nothing to save him or myself. He said “took my car”, and we rushed to the nearby medical point. His wife was also suffering from the same symptoms.

We were almost the first to arrive the medical point. At that moment, I felt like I was going to lose my sight and experienced a burning eyes. After moving away from the targeted area, I began to breathe less polluted air. However, I heard people shouting, saying, “We have been attacked with Sarin gas. This is Sarin gas.”

On my way back home, thinking that I was getting better, I felt dizzy, vomited everything in my stomach, and asked for help again to reach the hospital where I lost consciousness.

When I woke up, I found myself at the medical point, and the nurse was injecting me with Atropine. I remember staying there for a whole day. Many of the injured were worse than I was, froth at the mouth, their eyes vacant, some convulsing, and others struggling to breathe.

I spent only one day at the medical point, but the symptoms continued to affect me for about a year. I couldn’t distinguish smells, and I suffered from constant headaches.

I witnessed a terrible tragedy at the medical point. I saw the injured taking turns on the few artificial respiration devices compared to the number of casualties. Some arrived at the medical point already passed away, while others’ rescue attempts were unsuccessful.

I remember the initial count of victims be was 107, which later increased to 130 martyrs.

After leaving the medical point, I wished I hadn’t left. The scenes were harrowing. Although no one from my family died, I lost friends and neighbors. I saw entire families lose their lives, and paramedics turned into victims needed assistance.


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