Women and children wait for food in a school turned shelter in Hasakeh, northeastern Syria on Oct. 11, 2019. Food insecurity was a widespread problem even before Turkey attacked. (Alan Ali/WFP via AP)

Children dying in Syria: humanitarians call for ceasefire


Even before the Turkish offensive, there were 860,000 people wholly dependent on humanitarian aid in northeastern Syria, and now, the situation is worse. In the first days of shelling and air strikes, four children were killed and nine injured in Syria, and seven children died on the Turkish side of the border, according to Save the Children Canada. Now, people in Syria are fleeing southward and some children have been separated from their families.

“It’s very chaotic,” says Bill Chambers, president and CEO of Save the Children Canada. “It comes on the back of an already difficult circumstance. And it’s not clear at all where it will end.”

Some aid has left

Some humanitarian organizations have left the area because of the dangerous circumstances. But Save the Children is working to set up shelters and provide for basic needs along the escape routes. It is also working to reunite children with their families and, where that’s not possible, to provide for their needs and protection. 

Turkish forces bombed targets in Ras Al-Ayn, Syria on Oct. 16, 2019. Humanitarian groups say explosive weapons pose the greatest dangers to civilians. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo)

‘Children are particularly vulnerable’

“The dangers are multiple,” says Chambers. “The first danger, of course, is being hit by bombs which is why we are calling for a cessation of hostilities and at the very least, measures to be taken to minimize the impact of hostilities on civilians.” Chambers says Turkey should stop using explosive weapons in civilian areas and he says that children are particularly vulnerable to explosive weapons.”

There are said to be more than 20 children, mostly under the age of eight, in two camps who were born in Syria but are of Canadian nationality. Other countries like Italy, Germany and Denmark have repatriated their own young citizens. The Canadian government says it has contacted Kurdish authorities about its children but it is not clear whether it plans to extract them or just gather information, says Chambers.

“They are Canadian citizens and, at that age, they are innocent. They’ve lived, so far, a dreadful life. They have the rights of all Canadians and they should be brought home.”

‘Extreme alarm’ at humanitarian consequences, says UN envoy

The UN Special Envoy for Syria has called for a cessation of hostilities between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters saying the world is “extremely alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the crisis.”

With files from Associated Press.

Bill Chambers describes the chaos created by the Turkish offensive in Syria and the particular vulnerability of children. (YouTube)
Categories: International, Society
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available