Syria Relief are sad to announce that two children have been injured by an unexploded remnant from a cluster munition attack in the village of Ein Alhamra in Idlib, Northwest Syria. The event happened yesterday (Thursday 4th March 2021). Both children were 12 years old, one girl and one boy, the girl attends one of the 306 schools operated by Syria Relief.
Syria Relief are calling for an immediate and permanent end to the Syrian conflict and for greater support from the international community to Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) awareness projects.
Othman Moqbel, Syria Relief’s Chief Executive, says:
“Once again, a child attending a Syria Relief school has serious injures due to growing up in a warzone. Two 12-year-olds were scavenging for wood in Ein Alhamra, as many children in Idlib are forced to do, such is the desperate scale of poverty there, when they found what they found a metal object they thought was a toy. They tried playing with it. Now the girl has lost two of her fingers and the boy has lost his hand, amongst other shrapnel injures.
“This is sadly a common occurrence in Idlib, on December 31st 2020 in Sarmin, Idlib, 6-year-old Ghaith Hussein al-Alou, was searching for firewood with his 4-year-old sister and 5-year-old, when he came across an unusual object which he believed to be a toy. He attempted to bring it home, but it exploded in his hands. He later died of his wounds. The UXO was from a cluster munition attack on a Syria Relief school 364 days prior on January 1st 2020.
“Syria Relief are calling for the immediate and permanent end to fighting in Syria. Children should not have to grow up in a warzone, so impoverished that they have to scavenge for fire wood and being killed and maimed by, what their innocent brains believe to be toys, but are actually weapons of war.
“We are also calling for better support from the international community for UXO awareness projects, especially in schools.”
“This conflict reaches the 10 year landmark this month and, children have paid the highest price of this brutal war. 2.4 million children are currently out of school and, as our report The Destruction You Can’t See: A report into the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms amongst Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from the Syrian conflict found that all of the children in Idlib who we assessed had symptoms compatible with PTSD. And the world is doing nothing to reverse the damage being done to the children of Syria. This isn’t just a lost generation, this is a generation failed by humanity.”