The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday called for making every effort to protect Syrian children and the infrastructure they depend on, including hospitals and schools, as the Assad regime and Russian forces have intensified the bombing campaign in northwestern Syria for over a month.
Tens of thousands of children in northwest Syria are at imminent risk of injury, death and displacement because of a significant escalation in fighting, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.
This latest escalation follows months of rising violence in the area which has reportedly left at least 134 children dead and more than 125,000 displaced since the beginning of the year, Fore said.
She said that nearly 30 hospitals have come under attack and the spike in violence has forced some of UNICEF’s health care partners to suspend their lifesaving operations.
Approximately 43,000 children are now out of school and final exams in parts of Idlib have been postponed, affecting the education of 400,000 students, according to UNICEF.
“But these are quick fixes that can go only so far in mitigating the humanitarian fallout from such brutal and gratuitous violence,” she said
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that “the international community and the United Nations have a mandate to find an appropriate mechanism to stop these deadly attacks after the traditional mechanisms failed to prevent the killings and stop the ongoing war crimes against the Syrian civilians.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) on Wednesday called for establishing alliances to support and protect the Syrian people and resort to Chapter VII of the UN Charter to apply principle of the responsibility to protect which was approved by the UN General Assembly.
The Emergency Response Coordinators Team in northwestern Syria on Monday said that at least 568 civilians, including 162 children, have been killed in the bombing campaign the Assad regime and Russia have launched in northwestern Syria since April 26. It noted that nearly half a million people have been displaced. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)