"The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis."
- UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
The most dangerous place to be a civilian
In Syria mothers are left to watch the skies above their children’s schools for attacks. Husbands are left to dig family members from the rubble. Kids come home from school to find it’s no longer there. Schools, hospitals and homes are shelled and bombed—this should never happen, not even in a conflict. In February 2014 the UN Security Council, made up of the world’s most powerful nations, said if these indiscriminate attacks that are killing civilians did not stop they would be taking further steps. Attacks continue but as the world’s attention is grabbed by other crises we’ve seen no progress.
"Shelling brings the loss of many people's lives, I have witnessed a massacre where 48 people were killed.
It is indescribable- to see 48 people killed and many trapped under the rubble. I see many attacks every day."
"It is very difficult to see a mother who lost her child or children living in such circumstances where the boom of explosions are heard continuously.
There are children who wake up to find their parents dead, or to find themselves trapped under rubble."
"In Aleppo, the young kids stand and watch the helicopter, and they run away when it drops the barrel bomb.
All of the targets are civilians areas, and none is a military point. When I see a barrel bomb in the air, I feel like it's going to kill me for sure. It's a piece from hellthat will surely take my life."
"Everything we thought about was playing football or children games, children now are just thinking about is playing with weapons or acting as if they carry one.
When children grow up in a war zone, war influences them. Unlike how we lived as children."
"The most dangerous places in Syria for civilians are the markets, hospitals and schools that continue to operate in desperate conditions and amid constant threat of attack."
- UNITED NATIONS
While the world’s attention, headlines and political action are focused elsewhere, Syria remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a civilian. Improvised weapons – like barrels full of explosives or mortars made from gas cylinders – cannot be targeted, and so make no distinction between civilians and fighters.
Yet more than six months after the Security Council demanded an end to these indiscriminate attacks, they are being used more frequently – including on schools, hospitals, and shelters. Under International Humanitarian Law civilians should never be targeted. We need the international community to use their power to ensure international law is respected.