'Heroic' Syrian dad teaches three-year-old daughter to laugh through traumatising airstrikes

'Heroic' Syrian dad teaches three-year-old daughter to laugh through traumatising airstrikes
A Syrian father's efforts to protect his three-year-old daughter from the traumatising effects of war have gone viral on social media.
2 min read
18 February, 2020
Abdullah Mohammad [R] taught his daughter the 'laughing game' to cope [Screenshot]
A video of a Syrian father teaching his daughter to cope with airstrikes in Idlib province by laughing at the sounds of regime bombing and warplanes has gone viral on social media.

Syrian father Abdullah Mohammed, who currently lives in a friend's house in Idlib province, is seen in the video speaking to his three-year-old daughter Salwa as an airstrike is about to take place

"Is this a jet or a bomb?" the 32-year-old asks his daughter.

Salwa responds: "A bomb ... When it comes we will laugh."

The video attracted thousands of likes and comments on social media, with many calling Mohammad "heroic" for his effort to protect his toddler from the terrors of war.

"She is a child who does not understand war," Mohammad told Sky News.

"I decided to teach Salwa this game to prevent her psychological state from collapsing. So as to not be affected by diseases relating to fear."

Mohammed fled from his hometown of Saraqib in northwestern Syria amid airstrikes by Russian-backed regime forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. He now lives with his wife and daughter at a friend's house in Sarmada, Idlib.

The Idlib region, including parts of neighbouring Aleppo province, is home to some 3 million people, half of whom have already been displaced from other parts of the country.

The UN said on Monday that 900,000 people, mostly women and children, have been forced to flee their homes since the start of December when a Russian-backed regime offensive in northwest Syria began.

That figure is 100,000 more than the UN had previously recorded.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for the creation of humanitarian corridors in the area, expressing horror at the Russian-backed regime offensive.

"No shelter is now safe. And as the government offensive continues and people are forced into smaller and smaller pockets, I fear even more people will be killed," Michelle Bachelet was quoted as saying in a statement.

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