Child pulled from rubble after airstrikes hit Syria

A child is pulled alive from the ruins of her home as air strikes continue to bombard several Syrian cities, and sources say CIA-backed aid for rebels has been frozen.
Free Syrian Army fighters with their weapons on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab on Feb 4, 2017.
Free Syrian Army fighters with their weapons on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab on Feb 4, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - "Find her for me," a mother pleads. "Her name is Aya."

In the midst of airstrikes and with dust filling the air, she leads rescuers to what used to be her Syrian home.

The White Helmets rescue team pinpoint where to start digging. With bare hands, they get to work.

A cry from beneath the rubble is something to celebrate. Aya is still alive. But perhaps, only just.

Reuters can exclusively report that CIA-coordinated military aid to rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under attack last month.

Rebel sources say they have been given no official explanation for the move.

Although it's expected to be temporary, it highlights the troubles facing the Free Syrian Army, in its six-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The CIA hasn't commented but two US officials familiar with the programme say it has nothing to do with changes at the White House.