Children's Safety Under Threat as Escalation in Syria Continues

UNICEF is alarmed by the high number of children that were killed and murdered as situation in Idlib and Hama escalated.

ACTNews, IDLIB - Moustapha and Manar were almost desperate to save their little brother, Khaled Bakaour (3), from the ruins. They shouted and cried after finding out that their brother's body was buried beneath the rubbles of their house. One afternoon in June, the three brothers were playing outside the house when the air strikes suddenly hit the building near their house.

Their hearts were filled with fear and confusion, but were it not because of their love for the little Khaled, they would not be able to try to save him. The day will never be forgotten by Moustapha and Manar when their house collapsed, burying Khaled beneath the ruins.

"The first missile hit when he was playing with the cat outside, and the second missile hit next to our house. Our house was destroyed and we couldn’t see anything in front of us. We removed some blocks and found his head. That is when the ambulance arrived, "said Moustapha Bakour, Khaled's brother, to Al Jazeera on June 24.

One of Khaled's right leg was wrapped in a thick bandage. Meanwhile, a smaller bandage covered the wound on his left leg. The IV tube is connected to one of the toddler's arms. Khaled was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Idlib. The family is very grateful that he is still safe.

The escalation of the conflict in the southern region of Idlib Province bordering North Hama entered the 70th day. The area became a battleground as missiles hit almost every day.

According to Al Jazeera, Human Rights organizations said that at least 500 civilians were killed. About one hundred of them were children, a fact that alarmed UNICEF.

"Since the beginning of this year, we as UNICEF has verified over 140 children being killed in the last 24 hours," explained UNICEF Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere, reported by Al Jazeera, Monday (7/8). A day earlier, Al Jazeera also reported that since the beginning of the escalation in Idlib two and a half months ago, at least 2,000 have been injured.

Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), reported a similar fact. As written by Al Jazeera, according to SNHR, at least 544 civilians including 130 children were killed, and 2,117 were injured. []

Photo source: ACT, Al Jazeera, UN