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Almost 30,000 children killed, 181 tortured to death in Syria since 2011

Syrians students attend a class in Idlib on 28 September 2021 [Muhamed Said/Anadolu Agency]
Syrians students attend a class in Idlib on 28 September 2021 [Muhamed Said/Anadolu Agency]

At least 29,661 children have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian revolution and conflict in 2011, with 181 tortured to death and 5,036 still detained and forcibly disappeared, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has revealed.

In its tenth annual report on violations against children in Syria, released today on International Children's Day, it was revealed that the vast majority of all killings, torture, and disappearances of children in the country have been committed by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad over the past decade.

Out of the 29,661 children killed, the report stated that "22,930 [were] at the hands of the Syrian regime forces, 2,032 by Russian forces, 958 by ISIS, and 71 others by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham." That makes Damascus responsible for 78 per cent of extrajudicial killings of children in Syria, with 2013 reportedly being the worst year.

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Out of the 181 children tortured to death in the country, 174 of those deaths were in the extensive network of detention centres run by the Syrian regime. That number makes up part of the overall amount of at least 14,400 tortured to death throughout the conflict.

As for those 5,036 children still in detained or disappeared, 3,649 are at the hands of the regime, 667 are at the hands of the Kurdish militia the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), 42 are at the hands of the militia Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and other armed opposition groups are responsible for the remaining 359.

The report's account of the number of those children killed marks a much higher amount than was previously reported in March this year, when UNICEF asserted that around 12,000 were killed or injured so far throughout the course of the decade-long ongoing civil war.

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