Children died following worst attacks since ceasefire in Syria

Children smiling to the camera in Aaqrabate, Syria Children smiling to the camera in Aaqrabate, Syria Photo by Samer Daboul on Pexels

04 July 2021

UNICEF reports the death of at least six children following attacks on three villages in the rebel-held Idlib province.

In the early morning of 4 July 2021, Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, attacked three villages of Iblin, Balshoun, and Balyoun using shelling and artillery fire. The attacks caused the death of 16 people, six of whom are confirmed by UNICEF to be children. Three of the kids were siblings, while the other two were the children of a humanitarian worker living in the area. According to Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, the death toll is the highest since a ceasefire was agreed in March last year to protect the region from a government offensive.

The civil war in Syria started in 2011 as an uprising of the population against the corruption of the government of President Bashar al-Assad which quickly turned into a full-fledged conflict. This decade-long war is defined as a non-international armed conflict, despite the involvement of foreign governments such as Russia, France, and the US. Several jihadist groups such as the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and al-Qaeda are also involved and are supporting the rebels. So far, the conflict has led to the death of nearly 500,000 people. According to UNICEF, in 2020 alone, 512 children were killed. In addition, the war led to the displacement of 1.7 million children.

Following the attacks on Saturday, UNICEF stressed once again that the only way out of the war is through a diplomatic intervention. Only by halting the violence, it would be possible for the millions of children living in the country to – at least – hope for a better future. Meanwhile, humanitarian workers in the area are urging the international community to keep sending aid to the battered region.




Author: Martina Apicella; Editor: Aleksandra Krol

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