The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said more than 30 children were killed in the first two weeks of 2018 in besieged East Ghouta.
According to a statement released by UNICEF Representative in Syria, Fran Equiza: “It is shocking that only in the first 14 days of the year more than 30 children have been killed in escalating violence in East Ghouta, where an estimated 200,000 children have been trapped under siege since 2013.”
“Two medical facilities came under attack in the past days in East Ghouta, and most health centres had to close because of the violence. In some areas, mobile emergency clinics are the only way for families to receive medical treatment and aid.”
Some 120 children are in urgent need of medical treatment and are awaiting the opportunity to leave the besieged area, he added.
Meanwhile, in Idlib, more than 100,000 civilians are reported to have been forced to leave their homes because of the “heavy violence”, the statement said, confirming reports of a large number of women and children being killed in Idlib countryside.
Some 400,000 civilians live in the East Ghouta in tragic conditions due to the siege imposed by the Syrian regime forces.
East Ghouta is the Syrian opposition’s last stronghold and has been besieged by the Syrian regime forces since 2012.
It falls within a network of de-escalation zones – endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran – in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.