Ahmad Qassoum tells Asharq Al-Awsat that he and his family were returning home from a visit to his in-laws in Ariha, in northern Syria’s Idlib province, las Friday when at around 9:30 am their vehicle came under a drone attack.
“While I was driving my vehicle I had overtaken a motorcycle on the Ariha-Masoumeh road,” he says. “So we came under a drone attack and the children started crying. There was blood everywhere.”
Residents rushed to help them and paramedics transported them to a hospital in Idlib, Qassoum tells Asharq Al-Awsat.
The drone was targeting the man on the motorcycle.
Qassoum, his wife, two sons and two daughters suffered various wounds in the blast reportedly caused by the missile fired from a US drone.
The Associated Press first reported the attack, saying the US airstrike targeting an al-Qaeda leader wounded a family of six, including a 10-year-old child who suffered serious head injuries.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the US drone fired three missiles in Friday’s attack, killing a former member of the al-Qaeda-linked Horas al-Din group.
The Observatory said the man who was killed had left the group nearly a year ago, adding that he was a Syrian citizen from the northwestern region of Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib province. It was not clear whether he was still a fighter.
The US military says it conducted a strike from a remotely piloted MQ-9 aircraft Friday near the city of Idlib targeting “a senior al-Qaeda leader and planner.” An initial review of this strike indicates the potential for possible civilian casualties, it added.
SOURCE: Asharq Al-Awsat