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19

Mar

theatlantic:

In Focus: In Syria, Three Years of War

Last weekend marked the third anniversary of Syria’s civil war, a conflict that has, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed the lives of more than 146,000 people, at least a third of them civilians. As forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appear to be making slow progress against rebel forces, the humanitarian crisis has grown astronomically — as many as 2.5 million Syrians have now fled the country. Fractured rebel groups continue to fight each other, as well as Assad’s troops, with civilians bearing the brunt of attack and counterattack, their neighborhoods reduced to rubble by mortar shells and barrel bombs. Gathered here are images from Syria over the past few months.

Read more.

10

Mar

inothernews:

A woman comforted her baby Sunday at a hospital in the Sakhour district of Aleppo, Syria, after both were injured by what activists said was a barrel bomb.  From the New York Times: 

The Syrian civil war’s impact on the health of Syria’s children is far more insidious than has been widely understood, a leading children’s advocacy group reported Sunday, with large numbers dying or at risk from chronic and preventable diseases that have flourished because the country’s public health system has basically collapsed.
In a report timed to coincide with the start of the fourth year of the conflict, the group, Save the Children, said the effects of untreated illnesses on Syrian children were only partly reflected in the documented statistics. They show that at least 1.2 million children have fled to neighboring countries, that 4.3 million in Syria need humanitarian assistance and that more than 10,000 have died in the violence.
“It is not just the bullets and the shells that are killing and maiming children,” said the report, “A Devastating Toll.” The conflict, which began in March 2011, has left a “shattered health system resulting in brutal medical practices that have left millions of children suffering,” the report said.
The report asserted that “several thousands of children” had died because of greatly reduced access to treatment for diseases including cancer, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and kidney failure.
The basic lack of medical care, including routine vaccinations, the report said, means “increasing numbers of children are suffering and dying from diseases that would previously either have been treated or prevented from taking hold in the first place.”
The report is based partly on conclusions drawn from data that has been issued by other organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Doctors Without Borders, and other medical research, as well as from the Syrian government.
But the report also draws on Save the Children’s own research, including interviews with Syrian children, parents and medical providers who painted what amounted to a portrait of medieval health conditions.

(Photo: Hosam Katan / Reuters via NYT)

inothernews:

A woman comforted her baby Sunday at a hospital in the Sakhour district of Aleppo, Syria, after both were injured by what activists said was a barrel bomb.  From the New York Times: 

The Syrian civil war’s impact on the health of Syria’s children is far more insidious than has been widely understood, a leading children’s advocacy group reported Sunday, with large numbers dying or at risk from chronic and preventable diseases that have flourished because the country’s public health system has basically collapsed.

In a report timed to coincide with the start of the fourth year of the conflict, the group, Save the Children, said the effects of untreated illnesses on Syrian children were only partly reflected in the documented statistics. They show that at least 1.2 million children have fled to neighboring countries, that 4.3 million in Syria need humanitarian assistance and that more than 10,000 have died in the violence.

“It is not just the bullets and the shells that are killing and maiming children,” said the report, “A Devastating Toll.” The conflict, which began in March 2011, has left a “shattered health system resulting in brutal medical practices that have left millions of children suffering,” the report said.

The report asserted that “several thousands of children” had died because of greatly reduced access to treatment for diseases including cancer, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and kidney failure.

The basic lack of medical care, including routine vaccinations, the report said, means “increasing numbers of children are suffering and dying from diseases that would previously either have been treated or prevented from taking hold in the first place.”

The report is based partly on conclusions drawn from data that has been issued by other organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Doctors Without Borders, and other medical research, as well as from the Syrian government.

But the report also draws on Save the Children’s own research, including interviews with Syrian children, parents and medical providers who painted what amounted to a portrait of medieval health conditions.

(Photo: Hosam Katan / Reuters via NYT)

28

Feb

This Photo Is Not From The ‘Game Of Thrones.’ It’s From Syria.
The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.
Read more.

This Photo Is Not From The ‘Game Of Thrones.’ It’s From Syria.

The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.

Read more.

20

Jan

Syrian-American poet Amal Kassir reads her poem, "Syria."

(Source: pbs.org)

14

Jan

aljazeeraamerica:

Syrian women demand voice at peace talks

A proper democracy cannot be established without the participation of women. Such is the message of Syrian women’s rights activists who concluded a two-day conference in Geneva on Monday to demand equal involvement in their country’s peace-building process, which has so far mostly included men.
The activists on Monday asked the United Nations, which is brokering peace talks set to begin in Geneva on Jan. 22, to allow them to send women representatives. They also asked the international body to appoint a gender adviser to defend women’s voices at the negotiating table.
The talks aim to end Syria’s nearly three-year civil war, which arose from anti-government protests against President Bashar al-Assad, and has so-far left more than 100,000 people dead and created two million refugees. Another goal of the talks is to establish a viable path toward a functioning democracy.

Read more
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

aljazeeraamerica:

Syrian women demand voice at peace talks

A proper democracy cannot be established without the participation of women. Such is the message of Syrian women’s rights activists who concluded a two-day conference in Geneva on Monday to demand equal involvement in their country’s peace-building process, which has so far mostly included men.

The activists on Monday asked the United Nations, which is brokering peace talks set to begin in Geneva on Jan. 22, to allow them to send women representatives. They also asked the international body to appoint a gender adviser to defend women’s voices at the negotiating table.

The talks aim to end Syria’s nearly three-year civil war, which arose from anti-government protests against President Bashar al-Assad, and has so-far left more than 100,000 people dead and created two million refugees. Another goal of the talks is to establish a viable path toward a functioning democracy.

Read more

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

08

Jan

It was always a very difficult figure. It was always very close to the edge in terms of how much we could guarantee the source material was accurate. And it reached a point where we felt we could no longer cross that line. So for the time being, we’re not updating those figures.

The U.N.’s human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria’s civil war, confirming Tuesday that it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July. (cont)

30

Dec

The Middle East has become a killing field for journalists. While the number of journalists killed for their work has declined in some places, the civil war in Syria and a renewal of sectarian attacks in Iraq have taken an agonising toll

22

Dec

Of the 2.3 million registered Syrian refugees in the region, an estimated 865,000 are children, and about 70 percent of them are not enrolled in school, Unicef says. But the real figure is almost certainly higher.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have yet to be registered by the United Nations, especially in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The children among them, probably accounting for one-third, are unlikely to be attending school. Many are simply unable to register in school systems that are struggling to deal with the inundation of Syrians.

Among those who do enroll, many attend irregularly because of cost or safety concerns. Others, especially those who have already missed a year or two of school because of the conflict in Syria, are unable to cope with a new environment, a new curriculum and, in the case of Lebanon, a new language. Still others work to help parents whose savings are being depleted.

21

Dec

"Children ride on a makeshift merry-go-round made from remnants of Russian bombs at a basement in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, on the second day of Eid al-Adha, October 16, 2013. (Reuters/Bassam Khabieh)" (via The Atlantic)

"Children ride on a makeshift merry-go-round made from remnants of Russian bombs at a basement in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, on the second day of Eid al-Adha, October 16, 2013. (Reuters/Bassam Khabieh)" (via The Atlantic)

20

Dec

futurejournalismproject:

Meanwhile, in Syria

Over the last five days the Syrian government has driving into rebel-held Aleppo in order to reclaim the territory.

This video, from a Syrian activist, alleges to show what happened this morning (GRAPHIC).

According to Doctors Without Borders, “Airstrikes in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo have killed at least 189 people and wounded 879 people since December 15, according to local medical sources, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. Among the injured are 244 children.”

Related: Syria ‘abducting civilians to spread terror’, UN says, via the BBC.