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ICC Note:
Civil war continues to rage in Syria and the consequences for its citizens have been tragic. The number of total deaths is believed to exceed 100,000 and 5,000 of those are children under the age of 16. The violence is not just between the military forces of President Bashar al-Assad and the armed rebel forces but it has also impacted citizens. Among the opposition forces are militant Islamic groups who have tried to enforce a Islamic laws and have also targeted the Christian population and church buildings.
By Justin Sarachik
7/16/2013 Syria (Christian Post) – The lives of more than 5,000 children may have been lost to the civil war in Syria, according to recent reports, and now Open Doors USA has brought to international attention the testimonies of two young girls living in fear in the country where violence and killings have become almost a part of daily life for the nation’s most innocent victims.
“It’s scary. We hear a lot of bad stories about what is happening around us. On the streets there are soldiers everywhere. We see smoke from fighting and hear bombings all the time,” said 13-year-old Youmna, a Christian girl who lives in Damascus, Syria with her sister, 10-year-old Nashita, according to Open Doors USA.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that around 100,000 people have been killed in the civil war between government forces and rebels, and among those numbers are 5,000 children under the age of 16.
“One day I was going to school by bus when we heard a shooting nearby,” said Youmna. “So we all dived down, hiding under our seats, waiting until the shooting was over. Another day when we were at school there was an airplane very close by, threatening to bomb our school. We all had to go into the basement and stay away from the glass.”
“My classmates and I were all very scared. Kids around me were crying and shouting at the teachers because they were so afraid. Some called their fathers crying to them that they wanted to go home,” Nashita added.
The United Nations office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict can verify the reports of children being killed. To make matters worse, the children are sometimes being used as props of the war, and often 10-year-old boys are being used as combatants or porters.

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