By the time they reached al-Nusra held compound at Rashidin, the final stop before entering Aleppo, they were already traumatised. But their trauma was just beginning as they were held captive on the buses for a further day and a half; denied food and water.
On the morning of the 15th, terrorists turned up with big transparent bags containing packets of crisps. Allowed off the buses, the children swarmed around the men with the crisps, not having seen food like this for over two years. Ten minutes later, the children were forced back onto the buses.
At around 3pm on the 15th, more crisps were delivered for the children, who once again were allowed off the buses, this time with some of the younger men. Again, the children, full of excitement, swarmed around the man with the crisps. At that moment, having been deliberately enticed off the buses with the promise of food, a bomb exploded, killing 126 people, at least 80 of whom were children.
Next, the women – only the women – were allowed off the buses. Already traumatised, and now in a state of sheer terror and panic, they frantically searched for their children. As if by magic, the White Helmets appeared with their entourage of videographers to record them “saving” the distraught mothers. After ten minutes, the women were forced back onto the buses and the doors were locked.
Contrary to media reports, these “first responders” did not help to look after the injured, and they did not help return the dead to their families. Instead they took their video propaganda and around two hundred injured children off to Turkey. Many of these children have still not been returned.
The Rashidin bus bombing represents a new low in the tragedy that is Syria. Based on witness testimony we can say with certainty that it was a planned event, with innocent civilians used as pawns in a propaganda game aimed at giving continuing credibility to the White Helmets in the eyes of all those fooled by the lies published in western mainstream media.