More than 40,000 children in the line of fire in Ar-Raqqa, Syria, as fighting intensifies

 

More than 40,000 children in the line of fire in Ar-Raqqa, Syria, as fighting intensifies

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© UNICEF/UN066042/Souleiman

On 18 May 2017 in Al-Tabqa city in the Syrian Arab Republic, Hasan, 12 (red shirt) and his friends walk past a destroyed car. He and his family have been uprooted twice due to violence, forcing him to drop out of school .

Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa Region

DAMASCUS/AMMAN/GENEVA/NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 9 June 2017– “Heavy violence in the Syrian city of Ar-Raqqa is threatening the lives of more than 40,000 children who remain trapped in extremely dangerous conditions. UNICEF has received alarming reports that at least 25 children have been killed and scores injured in the latest violence in Ar-Raqqa city.

“Hospitals and schools have reportedly come under attack. Those attempting to flee are at the danger of getting killed or injured.

“Children are being deprived of the most basic and life-saving necessities; little aid has reached Ar-Raqqa since 2013 due to violence and access restrictions.

“The fighting has resulted in massive displacement in and around the city, with some 80,000 children now internally displaced and living in temporary shelters and camps.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to protect children inside Ar-Raqqa, provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city and grant a protected environment to civilians who fled the city.”