World News (SGMag) At last count reports say over 100,000 people have died since thecivil war in Syria began and of this count estimates show nearly 33 percent were children. How many children must die before the international community intercedes? At least on the behalf of the thousands of children dying in Syria. By Ally Briscoe, World News
Since 2012, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Party has been struggling to retake the country out of hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. They accuse the Al-Assad administration as a tyrannical dictatorship who engages in acts such as death squads against political opposition, false arrests against civil rights activist, voter repression, and unlawful imprisonment.
Meanwhile the Al-Assad government accuses the rebels of being terrorist who engage in “acts that aim to create a state of panic among the people, destabilizing public security and damaging the basic infrastructure of the country by using weapons, ammunition, explosives, flammable materials, toxic products, epidemiological and other bacteriological factors. The funny thing is both parties are accusing each other of the same.
But, what most foreign states are now concerned with are the children. As the death tolls exceed well over 100,000 people and continue to rise organizations like Save the Children are acting to help the most vulnerable of the Syrian population: the children.
One top UN official said last month she was overwhelmed by the suffering of children during a recent visit to Syria and warned officials and rebel commanders alike that they risk prosecution as war criminals for atrocities against minors.
Leila Zerrougui, the special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict, said she met parents whose children were killed in bombings, children who saw siblings die in front of them and teenagers who had fought with armed opposition groups. She visited both Syria and neighbouring countries that are hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the civil war, The National reported.
Reports on the ground say armed opposition fighters are forcing some families to send their teenage children to war in exchange for protection. Other reports say many children are following relatives to war, brainwashed and led to believe their sacrifice will get them into heaven and provide wealth for the families here on earth.
Although, in July President Bashar Al Assad’s government passed a law prohibiting child soldier recruitment reports on the ground say both armies are still engaging the mandatory drafting of minors.
As recent as Wednesday, unconfirmed sources on the ground say forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired Grad rockets bearing undiluted Sarin gas at suburban neighborhoods in the Ghouta area outside the capital city. Estimates show as many as 1,000 or more may have died and many being women and small children.
“Syria has repeatedly announced that it will never use any weapons of mass destruction against its own people, if such weapons exist,” said a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry, according to the state-run news service.
Where have we heard this story before? That’s right in Germany, when Hitler swore to the international community he wasn’t using gas on German citizens.
It wasn’t until much too late that we discovered that Hitler never considered Jews or their children citizens at all.
An historical lesson now confronts us: will we allow history to repeat itself because we believe a people to be different from us or will we face evil whenever and wherever it crawls out from under its rock?