Syria hasn’t been a heavy focus for U.S. news outlets since the Battle of Aleppo ended with mass civilian evacuations, but the Syrian Civil War is still raging and taking more lives (with an estimated total of half a million). The BBC now relays word from watchdog group Syria Civil Defence (a.k.a. “White Helmets”), which claims that 100 civilians, including 20 children were killed by pro-government forces in a rebel-held area near Damascus in Easter Ghouta over the course of 24 hours. Graphic photos support this report, which arrives amid ongoing strikes, all coming from troops led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and supported by Russia, that killed dozens of civilians earlier this month.
It appears that there are no signs of relief for Syrian civilians, even after the chemical attack by Assad on his own people drew international outrage and scrutiny last year. The Independent has published a mostly blank (symbolic) statement from the U.N. that illustrates the bleak reality of the situation:
The United Nations has expressed its outrage at the escalating violence in Syria’s East Ghouta by releasing a blank statement – because “no words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones”.
The symbolic message from Unicef’s regional director Geert Cappalaere on Tuesday contained ten empty lines with quotation marks to indicate the missing text before finishing with a footnote. “We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage,” it said. “Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”
President Assad has remained in leadership while pushing propaganda about these attacks for years. He insisted that last year’s chemical attack was “100% fabrication” (and fake news) after declaring that the iconic photo of the bloodied Aleppo boy was a forgery. Multiple cease fires have been brokered between his forces and rebel troops, only to have them fail within days. Sadly, there’s not much hope for a resolution or an end to the bloodshed anytime soon.