WATCH: The shocking moment a one-month-old baby pulled from the rubble in Syria
Published 01/10/2016 | 14:27
They were images so moving, it seemed like the whole world wept.
From the white-helmeted rescue worker who pulled the baby out of the Syrian rubble to even the BBC newsreader, introducing the report.
The tears were of joy for the month-old girl’s survival. They were inevitably tinged with a sorrow for the catastrophe that has befallen a nation - and her family.
Tragically, the baby was left an orphan after five members of her family died in the strike.
A cameraman captured the remarkable moment the baby’s rescue worker Abu Kifah broke down. Unable to contain his emotions, the tears streamed down his face; his sobbing uncontrollable. He would later explain that he imagined the baby girl as if she were his own daughter.
Against the odds, Mr Kifah had pulled the baby from the rubble and brought her to safety. She was covered in dust and had suffered just a few cuts and bruises but otherwise appeared unscathed.
The little girl had been one of the lucky ones. Her home in Idlib, 40 miles south west of Aleppo, had been bombed, allegedly by Russian jets loyal to the Syrian regime, but unlike thousands of others she had survived.
A volunteer with the White Helmets rescue charity, Mr Kifah had been sifting through the wreckage before finding her. He then held the baby to his chest to protect her from any more harm. She was then taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital.
As the ambulance sped through the city, Mr Kifah, the tears streaming, can be heard repeating “ya Allah” - or “oh God”, over and over. He later told reporters from the agency Orient News: “With the help of God, we were able to recover the baby girl. Thank God, the baby girl did not have any single injury.
“When I held her, I thought of her as my own baby girl… I took her to the hospital while I was holding her close to my chest as if she were my own daughter.
“When I held her close to my chest, I was deeply touched.”
The footage was broadcast on Friday's BBC lunchtime news and, when the segment was over, it was clear that it had also moved Kate Silverton, the BBC presenter, to tears.
As she tried to introduce the next item, Ms Silverton’s voice began to tremble. Behind her glasses, tears rolled down her cheeks as she continued to broadcast live on air.
Her anguish encouraged viewers to offer messages of support to the 46-year-old newsreader, who herself has two children aged four and two.
Ms Silverton later wrote on Twitter: “To all of you sending thoughts – thank you – no words really – my job to be inscrutable & impartial but I am also human #syria @BBCNews.”
In a later post, she wrote: “There are no words are there...”
Viewers were impressed, with one praising her “utmost poise and professionalism following an extremely distressing piece”, while another wrote on Twitter: “We are all human beings and all upset, no crime to show your feelings in public. Well done.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 11 civilians, among them seven children, had died in the bombing raids on Idlib on Thursday in which the little girl survived.
In a week’s fighting, it has been reported that 388 people have been killed, including 106 children.