UNICEF issues blank statement slamming 'war ON children in Syria'

Nellie Chapman
February 20, 2018

A surge in attacks by the Syrian government and its allies killed 94 people in the rebel pocket of eastern Ghouta in the space of 24 hours, a war monitoring group said on Monday.

Mortars fired by rebels in eastern Ghouta landed in Damascus today, causing two deaths and several injuries, Syrian state media reported.

UNICEF's regional director for the region Geert Cappelaere was quoted at the beginning of the symbolic press release: "No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones".

Other insurgent groups in eastern Ghouta, including Islamist factions, say the Syrian government and Russian Federation are using the jihadist presence as a pretext to continue their bombardment.

Eastern Ghouta, the last remaining rebel-held area near Damascus, has been under siege by government forces since 2013.

Despite the agreement, almost 200 people were killed in Eastern Ghouta and in Idlib within a four-day period earlier this month.

"The World Food Programme (WFP) joins other United Nations agencies in calling for an immediate pause in hostilities so we can deliver life-saving assistance to the people of Eastern Ghouta who so desperately need our help", Beasley said.

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Jawad al-Obros, 30, said he was looking to move to a hotel in the western sector of the city to escape his home in an east Damascus neighborhood that has been regularly hit by rockets from Ghouta.

Syrians in the capital have for always been calling for the elimination of the rebels' mortar attacks, which, in many cases, paralyzed the lives of the people in the eastern Damascus neighborhoods.

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"Desperation is an understatement", Kern said of the situation in the Damascus suburbs, noting that numerous children trapped in areas still under rebel control have "never seen the inside of a classroom".

The International Committee of the Red Cross also issued a statement saying that "this can not go on". All these humanitarian and rights organizations, all that is nonsense. "We can not let history repeat itself", the group said on Twitter. "It's imperative to end this senseless human suffering now", Mr Moumtzis said on Monday.

Minutes before the shelling, about 20 vehicles with heavy machine guns mounted on them were seen entering the area as part of an agreement between the government and the main Kurdish militia in Syria known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.

Ankara considers the YPG a "terrorist group" linked to the Kurdish insurgency within Turkey's borders.

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