Mar 12, 2019 11:06 Asia/Tehran
  • UNICEF: 2018, the deadliest year for Syrian Children
    UNICEF: 2018, the deadliest year for Syrian Children

The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) has announced that 2018 was the deadliest year since 2011 for the children of Syria.

Iran Press/America: The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said that more than 1,100 Syrian children were killed in 2018, making it the deadliest year since 2011, when foreign-sponsored militancy began in the Arab country.

In a statement on Monday, executive director 'Henrietta Fore' said UNICEF had been able to verify 1,106 child deaths from the conflict last year, warning that the true figure was likely to be even higher, Iran Press reported citing the official website of UNICEF.

"Today there exists an alarming misconception that the conflict in Syria is drawing quickly to a close – it is not. Children in parts of the country remain in as much danger as at any other time during the eight-year conflict," the statement added.

The statement went on to say: "In 2018 alone, 1106 children were killed in the fighting – the highest ever number of children killed in a single year since the start of the war. These are only the numbers that the UN has been able to verify, which means the true figures are likely to be much higher."

According to the statement, anti-personnel mines are now the leading cause of child death and injury across the country, with unexploded ordnance accounting for 434 deaths and injuries last year.   

Henrietta Fore added: "The year 2018 also saw 262 attacks against education and health facilities in Syria, also a record high."

"I am particularly concerned about the situation in Idlib in northwestern Syria where intensification of violence has reportedly killed 59 children in the past few weeks alone," she reiterated.

She added: "Children and families in no man’s lands continue to live in limbo. The situation of families in Rukban, near the Jordanian border, continues to be desperate, with limited access to food, water, shelter, health care and education."

Warning that the fate of children of foreign fighters in Syria remains unclear, UNICEF urges member states to take responsibility for children who are their citizens or born to their nationals, and to take measures to prevent children from becoming stateless. 

"As the war enters its ninth year, UNICEF again reminds parties to the conflict and the global community that it is the country’s children who have suffered most and have the most to lose. Each day the conflict continues is another day stolen from their childhood."

Armed conflict began in Syria in 2011. But the Syrian military, backed by Iran and Russia, has wrested back control of almost all the areas that had been seized by Western-backed terrorist and militant groups.

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