This Man Lost 25 Family Members To The Deadly Chemical Attack In Syria

"My kids, Ahmad and Aya, and my wife... they were all martyred. My entire family's gone."

Cover image via Alaa Al-Yousef via CNN

Abdul-Hamid Alyousef woke with a start, struggling to breathe, early morning on Tuesday, 4 April.

He struggled out of bed and scrambled over to check on his 9-month-old twins. He passed them to his wife and told her to stay indoors safely.

Alyousef walked out of his house, only to stumble upon a scene of utter horror - people were falling and suffocating on the streets.

He managed to walk over to his parents' house next door and to his shock, both his brothers were dead. Left in a state of panic, Alyousef rushed back home to make sure his wife and children were fine.

By the time he got home, his wife and babies were dying. "There was foam on their mouths, there were convulsions. They had all been on the floor."

Alyousef cradling his deceased twins.

Image via Alaa Al-Yousef via CNN

He woke up hours later in the hospital and realised that he didn't just lose his twins, wife, and brothers.

Alyousef lost 25 of his family members that day. According to the report by CNN, most of his extended family members lived on the northern edge of Khan Sheikhoun, a town in Syria's Idlib province.

Alyousef spoke to CNN about the tragedy on Wednesday.

"My kids, Ahmad and Aya, and my wife... they were all martyred. My entire family's gone."

"My brothers, their children, and their cousins... around 25 members of my family, all martyred," said Alyousef, sobbing.

Videos and images of Alyousef cradling his deceased twins and sobbing have gone viral on social media.

"My children aren't the first to be martyred. Is there even a humanitarian conscience still?"

Syrian man says 25 relatives died in chemical attack

"My entire family's gone." This Syrian man says around 25 of his family members died in the chemical attack including his wife and two twin babies.

Posted by CNN on Wednesday, 5 April 2017

On Tuesday, Khan Sheikhoun faced what has been described as one of the deadliest chemical attacks in the country in years

Victims of the chemical attack.

Image via Edlib Media Center via AP

The US and the UK have blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for the deadly airstrike that hit the town while most people were still sleeping. As of late February 2016, Idlib went under the control of the Syrian rebels and Al-Nusra.

The attack claimed the lives of at least 70 people. 45 bodies have been identified so far.

According to an eyewitness who described the horror to CNN, Anas al-Diab, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center (AMC), at about 6.30am, an airstrike hit the town center of Khan Sheikhoun. This was just metres away from Alyousef's home, near their local bakery.

The airstrike emitted an unknown "poisonous gas" that led to victims dying from asphyxiation from the chemical agent. Yesterday, New York Times reported that the Turkish Health Ministry confirmed that the chemical agent used in the attack was the banned nerve agent, sarin.

Almost 500 people have been sent to the Maarat al-Numan hospital following the airstrike. Speaking to CNN, Dr Fares al-Jundi said that this horrible memory will stay with him for the rest of his life.

Click to Reveal
Some of the bodies of children who died in the airstrike.

Some of the bodies of children who died in the airstrike.

Image via Idlib Media Center via CNN

A man carrying a child to the makeshift hospital near the scene of the attack.

Image via EMC via CNN

The body of a child who died in the chemical attack wrapped by emergency responders.

Image via CNN

Responding to tragedy, US President Donald Trump has launched a military strike on the airfield in Syria that had launched the deadly chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun

A satellite image that shows the target of the US airstrike.

Image via CNN

"On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," said Trump on Thursday, 6 April, as reported by CNBC.

"It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies... with a chemical gas that is so lethal that people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines -- beyond a red line," he added, saying that the airstrike has changed his view on Assad and Syria.

According to a statement by Syrian Armed Forces General Command, the US attack that launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Al Shayrat airfield, killed six people.

This is the first and direct military attack by the US against the Assad government since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.

The Syrian civil war has killed about 450,000 people, injured more than a million and the number of displaced Syrians are growing steadily. Aleppo is the worst-hit place in the country:

The atrocities that have happened over the past six years have destroyed a beautiful nation. Look at these photos of Syria before it became a war-torn nation: