‘Moral ou­trage over Aleppo child deaths’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Save the Chil­dren has hit out at the “moral ou­trage” of the mount­ing deaths and suf­fer­ing of chil­dren in the bat­tle­ground Syr­ian city of Aleppo, in a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day. The char­ity said medics across north­west Syria were look­ing to for­tify hospi­tals after a wave of at­tacks in re­bel­held east Aleppo left fa­cil­i­ties strug­gling to care for in­jured chil­dren. Regime forces have been wag­ing a fe­ro­cious as­sault on east Aleppo since Novem­ber 15, with the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights say­ing more than 140 civil­ians have been killed, 19 of them chil­dren.

The re­newed fight­ing comes amid in­ter­na­tional con­cern for the fate of more than 250,000 civil­ians trapped in be­sieged rebel-held ar­eas of the north­ern city. Save the Chil­dren also con­demned a rebel at­tack on west Aleppo that killed at least eight chil­dren on Sun­day. It said among those killed at the week­end was an ed­u­ca­tion worker at a school it sup­ports in east Aleppo who was found buried in rub­ble along with her baby son. Classes at 13 such schools in east Aleppo had been sus­pended as shelling in­ten­si­fied in re­cent days, said Save the Chil­dren.

It said the deadly rebel at­tack on the school in the west of the city showed “there is no safe place for chil­dren in this con­flict”. “Chil­dren and aid work­ers are be­ing bom­barded by mis­siles whilst they are sit­ting at their desks in schools and seek­ing treat­ment in hospi­tals which are also un­der at­tack,” said So­nia Khush, Syria di­rec­tor for Save the Chil­dren. “The very places they should feel safest have be­come deadly,” she said. “It is a moral ou­trage that the death toll of Aleppo’s chil­dren con­tin­ues to grow and seems only set to get worse, whilst so lit­tle ac­tion is be­ing taken to end the bomb­ing and hold war­ring par­ties ac­count­able for these at­tacks on civil­ians.”

Save the Chil­dren called for an in­ter­na­tion­ally mon­i­tored cease­fire to bring hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief into east Aleppo and evac­u­ate the sick and wounded. It said the United Na­tions and op­po­si­tion groups had al­ready agreed on ac­cess for an aid con­voy which could go ahead once all sides agree to a cease­fire. “Par­ties to the con­flict must come to­gether to agree an im­me­di­ate cease­fire, and to evac­u­ate civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and get life-sav­ing aid into the area.” UN Syria en­voy Staffan de Mis­tura was re­buffed in Da­m­as­cus on Sun­day on a truce pro­posal that would al­low the op­po­si­tion to ad­min­is­ter the city’s east. Aleppo was once the coun­try’s eco­nomic pow­er­house, but it has been rav­aged by the bru­tal war across Syria that has killed 300,000 peo­ple since it be­gan with anti-govern­ment protests in March 2011. —AFP

DOUMA: A Syr­ian child walks on a heav­ily dam­aged street in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern out­skirts of the cap­i­tal Da­m­as­cus. —AFP

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