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UN issues blank statement because it ‘no longer has words’ to describe war on Syria’s children

The statement came after a ferocious Syrian regime bombing campaign pounded the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

world Updated: Feb 20, 2018 18:31 IST
AFP, Amman
UNICEF,Syria war,Eastern Ghouta
Ghaith, a wounded 12-year-old Syrian boy, cries as he receives treatment at a make-shift hospital in Kafr Batna in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region.(AFP Photo)

The UN children’s fund on Tuesday expressed “outrage” over the killings of children in Syria by issuing a blank statement, adding in a footnote that “no words will do (them) justice”.

The statement came after a ferocious Syrian regime bombing campaign pounded the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Monday, killing 127 civilians, 39 of them children.

“No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Those words were followed by a blank page.

UNICEF voiced its anger in a postscript at the end of the news release, entitled: “The War ON Children in Syria. Reports of mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus.”

Syrian children cry at a make-shift hospital in Douma following air strikes on the Syrian village of Mesraba. (AFP Photo)

“UNICEF is issuing this blank statement,” it said. “We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”

The United Nations on Monday demanded an end to the targeting of civilians in Syria.

But on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said at least 50 civilians, including 13 children, were killed in a second day of air strikes on Eastern Ghouta.

The bodies of civilians who were killed in Syrian army bombardment on the town of Hamouria in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. (AFP Photo)

Held by rebels since 2012, Eastern Ghouta is the last pocket of opposition-held territory around Damascus and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad appears to be preparing a ground assault to retake it.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 18:30 IST