Publication Date : Monday 25 November 2013 21:44
Syria War Has killed more than 11,000 children, new report finds
More than ۱۱,۰۰۰ children have died in Syria's civil war, including ۱۲۸ killed by chemical weapons in a notorious attack and hundreds targeted by snipers, a British think-tank said Sunday, according to AFP.
The Oxford Research Group, which specializes in global security, said in a new study that there were ۱۱,۴۲۰ recorded deaths of children aged ۱۷ years and under.
The report, entitled "Stolen Futures: The hidden toll of child casualties in Syria", analyses data from the beginning of the conflict in March ۲۰۱۱ until August ۲۰۱۳.
The think-tank added that, of the ۱۰,۵۸۶ children whose cause of death was recorded, ۱۲۸ were killed by chemical weapons in Ghouta, near Damascus, on August ۲۱,۲۰۱۳.
The attack was blamed by the United States and other world powers on President Bashar Al-Assad's regime. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said following the attack that it had killed at least ۱,۴۰۰ people, including some ۴۰۰ children.
The think-tank added on Sunday that ۷۶۴ children were summarily executed and ۳۸۹ were killed by sniper fire in the conflict.
Explosive weapons have caused more than ۷۰ percent of the child deaths, while small arms fire accounts for more than a quarter, according to the study cited by AFP.
"What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed," said report co-author Hamit Dardagan.
"Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured.
"All conflict parties need to take responsibility for the protection of children, and ultimately find a peaceful solution for the war itself."
The Oxford Research Group added that the number of boys killed outnumbered girls killed by a ratio of about two to one.
Children in older age groups were targeted more often than younger children. Boys aged between ۱۳-۱۷ years old were the most frequent victims of targeted killings, the think-tank has found.
"The data we analyzed indicates that bombs and bullets alone ended the lives of ten thousand Syrian children in ۳۰ months of war," added Dardagan.
"The world needs to take a much closer interest in the effects of the conflict on Syria's children."