Sidra Zaarur, a 10-year-old girl who lost her legs in a terrorist attack in Aleppo, who went from Syria to Moscow for surgery, finally completed her course of treatment. She can now play football, picked up some Russian, and is ready to return home to her relatives. She came to Moscow in June along with her mother for bone realignment surgery on her legs, has fully recovered, and is now again able to walk, run, and even play football. She has made a number of friends at the hospital she went to, learned Russian quite well, and is now dreaming of coming back to Russia to become a doctor. Currently, Sidra is getting ready to go back to school and hopes to return to her hometown of Aleppo once militants leave the city. Almost breaking into tears, she said:
They helped me a lot in Russia. I can walk, run, and play again. When the war is over, we’ll live in Aleppo. I wish that terrorists would go away. Why did they come and shoot at us? We lived so well when there was no war. Those who help them should take them back.
Her mother said:
Our family is very grateful to Russia. Thanks to Russian doctors, my daughter now feels healthy; she communicates and plays with other children. She could’ve been an invalid for her whole life in Syria, since our hospitals don’t have that kind of equipment.
Sidra’s mother also addressed the issue of differentiating between terrorists and the so-called “moderate opposition” backed by the US-led coalition:
The USA thinks they [moderate opposition fighters] are freedom fighters and helps them but, in fact, they’re mere terrorists with no mercy for neither children, nor women, nor old people… There’s no way these animals could be justified. I believe the war will be over when the USA stops backing them.
Terrorists wounded Sidra on 16 April, when they attacked Aleppo with “hand-made mortars that shot gas cylinders” (according to a Minoborony Rossii media release at the time). Sidra saw her three-year-old nephew and older sister die in the attack, which naturally resulted in severe psychological trauma. Apart from providing the young Syrian with prosthetic legs, Russian doctors also helped her get over the death of her close relatives. In May, an Ilyushin Il-76 aeromedical transport took Sidra and her mom from Khmeimim Airbase in Latakia Governorate to Moscow following a request approved by Defence Minister S K Shoigu.
29 October 2016