2018 deadliest year for children in Syria: UNICEF

The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) says more than 1,100 Syrian children were killed in 2018, making it the deadliest year since 2011, when foreign-sponsored terrorism began in the West Asian country.

In a statement on Monday, UNICEF said it 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.

“Today, there exists an alarming misconception that the conflict in Syria is drawing quickly to a close; it is not,” executive director Henrietta Fore said. “Children in parts of the country remain in as much danger as at any other time during the eight-year conflict.”

The UN body said unexploded ordnance caused the highest levels of casualties, with 434 deaths and injuries last year.

Fore further expressed concern about the intensification of violence in the northwestern province of Idlib, where 59 children have been reported killed in recent weeks.

Idlib is the last terrorist stronghold in Syria. A myriad of militant outfits, including Turkey-backed armed groups and Takfiri al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, remain holed up in the province.

“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,” said Fore.

According to the UN, about 60 children have died trying to get to al-Hol camp in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, which is now home to more than 65,000 people fleeing Daesh terrorists.

Caroline Anning, spokeswoman for the charity Save the Children said, “Syria is still one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child, with ongoing violence, insecurity and displacement.”

“Even where conflict has subsided, the risk from explosive remnants of war like landmines and cluster munitions is growing,” she said.

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