'Horrific' Suffering of Syrian Children: 652 Massacred in 2016

Trevor Jackson
March 16, 2017

The grim report adds that 6 million children in Syria depend on humanitarian aid, but about 250,000 children remain in besieged areas, cut off from receiving aid. The report comes as the conflict in Syria enters its sixth year. The number of children who were killed, injured and recruited for combat escalated to the "highest on record" in 2016, according to a report from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) released on Monday.

The number of children killed increased by 20 percent past year, although the United Nations agency says the full scale of the damage and suffering is hard to assess due to the difficulty of accessing a number of areas.

"The depth of suffering is unprecedented".

"Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being and future", Cappelaere said. More than 850 children were recruited in 2016 at increasingly younger ages, more than double than the year before, UNICEF wrote in the report titled "Hitting Rock Bottom".

"Verified instances of killing, maiming, and recruitment of children increased sharply previous year in a drastic escalation of violence across the country", the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said in a report published March 13. UNICEF says at least 255 children were killed in or near schools in 2016.

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The most vulnerable among Syria's children are the 2.8 million in hard-to-reach areas, including 280,000 children living under siege, nearly completely cut off from humanitarian aid.

UNICEF also warned that coping mechanisms are eroding both within Syria and across its borders - families are taking extreme measures just to survive, often pushing children into early marriage and child labour.

UNICEF noted that it can not assess the "full scale of children's suffering" due to limited access to parts of Syria. "There is so much more we can and should do to turn the tide for Syria's children".

"After six years of war we are at a tipping point, after which the impact on children's formative years and childhood development may be so great that the damage could be permanent and irreversible", said Dr. Marcia Brophy, a senior mental health adviser with Save the Children. I wish for the war to end and for wars all over the world to end.

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