In Syria’s civil war, a conflict with many villains, a group of first responders called the Hanano Civil Defense team are doubtlessly the good guys. They are one of the last hopes for civilians caught on Aleppo’s front lines: after a bombing, they’re first to the scene to evacuate the injured, retrieve and clean bodies, and fight fires. In June, the reporter Matthieu Aikins and Reportage photographer Sebastiano Tomada spent seven days in Aleppo embedded with the group, who are the last hope for civilians who find themselves on the front lines of war. Their story and images were published as this month’s story in the online magazine Matter, part of the publishing platform Medium. See the feature here.



Syrian child treated in Israel

Israeli medics were checking last week a 12-year-old Syrian boy who was brought to Ziv Medical Centre in Tzfat (Safed), northern Israel.

The hospital said that the boy was severely wounded, losing the sight in both eyes and suffering injuries to his arm and leg, when a shell exploded near his home in the outskirts of Damascus. After undergoing basic medical treatment in Lebanon, his brother took him by donkey across the border to an Israeli military post, where soldiers took him to hospital in Safed.

The spokesperson said the boy was one of ten Syrians currently being treated at the hospital, and one of several hundred since February 2013.

The social worker of the orthopaedic unit at Ziv medical centre, Faris, said that all of the Syrian patients who crossed to Israel for treatment prefer to go back home after they recover.

The head of ophthalmology at Ziv Centre, Yosef Pikel, said that they try to make the child’s stay as pleasant as possible.

"Well, he’s in a very bad position, he lost his right eye, he was primary operated in Beirut and then he came to us to a retinal surgery which was quite difficult and we…We hope that he has some chance of vision but we are not sure of that because the gravity of the injury was very bad," Pikel said.