Both bakeries were struck repeatedly in the period that followed. Bab al Hadid was hit on Aug. 22, Oct. 13, Nov. 23 and Dec. 24, and Qadi Asker on Oct. 10, Nov. 1 and Dec. 13. Al Sakhour bakery, in an eastern suburb of Aleppo, was attacked five times from Aug. 11 to Oct. 25.
In the city of Deir el Zour, 24 people died in an attack on Christmas Day, and on Jan. 2, 21 people were reported killed in a bread line attack in Al Madhamiya, in the Damascus countryside.
In the case of Halfaya, a town of about 30,000 about 15 miles northwest of Hama, the final death toll may not be known, because many people fled, some taking their dead relatives with them to bury elsewhere.
According to the Syrian Revolution General Commission and two eyewitnesses contacted by McClatchy, the total dead could be more than 90.
Hamwi witnessed the attack from a rooftop 500 yards away. He told McClatchy that up to Dec. 23, the town bakery had had three ovens but nothing to bake.
There had been no flour for a week before the bombing, he said. We had managed to contact an Islamic charity, which sent us 100 sacks of flour. We managed to get the bakery running. Two hours later, the plane attacked. It came from the east, very high, circled around Muhradah, a neighboring city, then came back and dropped eight cluster bombs.
A YouTube video taken shortly after the attack, which Hamwi said occurred at 4:10 p.m., shows the dead and wounded lying in the street outside the bakery.
Hamwi said townspeople buried 60 people, only 15 of them identifiable, and filled two graves with body parts. Up to now, we have not been able to count the number of missing accurately, because most of the residents fled, and we cant contact them, he said.
A rebel fighter who asked that he be identified only by his first name, Ala, told McClatchy he was convinced that the regime had been tipped about the flour shipment by sympathizers whod stayed behind when government forces pulled out. I was about (two miles) away, he said in a Skype interview. We all saw the plane. The first bomb targeted the bakery directly. Not all of the others exploded.