SYRIA – FootageÂ has emerged from SyriaÂ showing a young girl covered in blood and dust crying out for her father after an airstrike hit her home in Talbiseh, a large town about 10 kilometres north of Homs.
In the video, an eight-year-old girl, who says her name is Aya, can be seen with blood trickling down her forehead at a medical centre where she calls out for her family as volunteers try to clean her wounds and ask her what happened.
“At home but the roof fell on us,â€ the young Aya saidÂ she continued to call out â€œBaba, Babaâ€, meaning â€œOh Daddy, Daddyâ€
The video was released by the Talbiseh Media Centre, an opposition activist group, following an airstrike Monday. The group confirmed to CNN the young girl has since been reunited with her mother, father and three siblings who were wounded in the rocket attack, but are recovering.
The haunting images are a reminder of the devastating toll the Syrian war is taking on children.
The attack purportedly took placeÂ Monday when Syrian fighter jets bombarded the town. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, said warplanes launched raids on the town on Monday morning, resulting in one death and several injuries.
Talbiseh is someÂ 13 kilometres north of the devastated city of Homs â€” one of the first cities to become opposition strongholds during the beginning of the country’s civil war.
Meanwhile, in theÂ rebel-held city of Aleppo at least 25 people were killed, including five children,Â after an intensive day of bombings Tuesday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the bombings killed 25 people. But the Syrian Civil Defence, a team of first responders known as â€œwhite helmets,â€ and activist media platform Aleppo Media Center put the death toll at 41.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is fighting al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria who are using civilians as human shields in the city of Aleppo.
“We can’t allow terrorists to use people as human shields and blackmail the entire world,” Putin said.
He also criticized the U.S. for failing to combat the al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria, which this summer renamed itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.
Pope Francis, in his strongest appeal to date on the conflict in Syria, on Wednesday called for an “immediate ceasefire” to allow for the evacuation of civilians.
“It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, imploring those responsible with all my strength for an immediate ceasefire,” the PopeÂ said before tens of thousands of people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
Francis said a ceasefire was essential “at least for the time necessary to allow for the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped by cruel bombardments.”
Hundreds killed since ceasefire broken
The observatory said Wednesday at least 358 civilians have been killed in eastern Aleppo since a U.S.-Russian cease-fire collapsed on Sept. 19. The UN says over 100 children have been killed in the campaign, which has also included a limited ground offensive.
The UN Security Council is deadlocked over how to respond to theÂ crisis. The U.S. and Russia have failed to reach an agreement on renewing the short-lived ceasefire. International aid groups and UN agencies have appealed for a halt to the violence to allow aid to the besieged territory.
No assistance has entered Aleppo since July while hospitals, medical facilities and rescue vehicles have all come under attack.
Russia says that Foreign MinisterÂ SergeyÂ LavrovÂ will meet U.S. Secretary of State JohnÂ KerryÂ in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss efforts to find a new peace deal.
By Andrew Russell | Global News | Asssociated Press