At least 83 children have died as a result of war operations in the Middle East in January, most of them in Syria, according to UNICEF figures.
“They were killed in ongoing conflicts, suicide attacks, or froze to death in areas of war action,” said Unicef regional manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere.
UNICEF highlights escalation in conflict levels in Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen.
“Children may have been brought to silence, but their voices will still be heard,” he continues.
59 children were killed in Syria in January. 16 Syrian refugees froze on a snowstorm on their way to Lebanon, four of them children. In Yemen 16 children were killed.
UNICEF receives daily reports of killed and injured children while fighting escalates in Yemen, says Cappelaere.
Cappelaere calls January a “dark and bloody month”.
– Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of children in the Middle East and North Africa have been deprived of their childhood, are mutilated for life, traumatized, arrested and exploited, prevented from going to school and gaining access to the most basic health services, and even from something as basic as the right to play, “said Cappelaere.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today