Doctors in Aleppo, Syria, Save Lifeless Baby Born After Airstrike

Image: Still from video aired by Britain's Channel 4
A still taken from video aired by Britain's Channel 4 News showing a baby born following an attack in Aleppo, Syria, in July 2016.Waad al-Kateab / via Channel 4 News

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By Alastair Jamieson

The emotional moment when doctors delivered the baby of a Syrian woman injured by an airstrike in the besieged city of Aleppo has been captured on camera.

The boy’s mother, identified only as Mayissa, was seriously injured as she walked to the hospital to give birth.

Her right arm and leg were broken and surgeons had to pick shrapnel from her body before performing an emergency cesarean section.

Doctors feared the unborn child had been killed.

The graphic and at times distressing video was filmed by Waad al-Kateab and aired by Britain’s Channel 4 News. It shows the agonizing moment when the boy was pulled, lifeless, from his mother’s womb.

“Is the heart beating?” one of the medics asks.

“No, no, I’m sorry” his colleague replies.

After several minutes, the boy suddenly shows signs of life. Eventually his cry echoes around the makeshift emergency room, to the visible relief of the doctors.

“The most elemental sound of all,” journalist Matt Frei says in the report. “More powerful, for a brief moment, than Aleppo’s daily cry of death.”

The footage was recorded in July and aired on Thursday.

The report was aired as part of a series documenting the suffering of civilians in Aleppo who are living under regular bombardment.

Frei added: "The war almost ended his life before it had a chance to start. But the war will continue to be his companion and shape the world that he has entered.

Channel 4 News Editor Ben de Pear praised al-Kateab’s work, which he said “has highlighted the carnage in the hospitals, and the pain of the casualties and their families, which lie behind the statistics.”