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Does the world care about these children?

By The Rediff News Bureau
Last updated on: August 22, 2016 09:22 IST
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How much longer will we see such tragic images of children ravaged by war?

Haggard and covered in blood, his blank stare startled the world.

Photographs and video of shell-shocked Omran Daqneesh, 5, being carried to an ambulance, the left side of his face bloodied, shook up even those indifferent to the continuing carnage in Syria.

IMAGE: This haunting image of Omran Daqneesh, 5, is a stark reminder of War's horrors.
Such scenes are seen every day in Aleppo and other parts of Syria. Does the world even care?
Photograph: Aleppo Media Centre

Omran's story is not that he alone survived the bombing and the bloodshed. It is a tragedy that thousands of children in Syria share.

'The truth is that the image you see today is repeated every day in Aleppo,' says Mustafa al Sarouq, a cameraman with the Aleppo Media Centre, who captured Omran's story on video.

IMAGE: An injured boy at a field hospital in the Syrian capital Damascus' Douma neighbourhood.
Fifty per cent of Syria's hospitals have been destroyed, leaving children like these maimed for life.
Photograph: Mohammed Badra/Reuters

7.5 million Syrian children have been affected by the civil war that began in 2011.

Bombings have destroyed crowded Syrian cities. Food and medical supplies are sparse.

18,598
Civilians killed in the war in Syria
 

Half its population has fled Syria, reveals the International Red Cross. The 13.5 million Syrians who stay on in their war-ravaged homeland are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Between 1.5 to 2 million people still stay in Aleppo. Once considered Syria's largest city, it is now divided into rebel-held and government-held areas.

IMAGE: Sheima, 5, now in Kilis, southeastern Turkey. Sheima lost her sight when a stray bullet hit her. She got out of Syria, but sadly she will never see again.
Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Last year, the photograph of two-year-old Aylan Kurdi's body lying on a Turkish beach became -- sadly, briefly -- the symbol of the world's migrant crisis.

4,500
Children who have died in the war in Syria
 

IMAGE: You are left with no home, no family and no country. What would you do?
Photograph: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

A Sudanese artist based in Doha, Qatar, captured the two stories that symbolise the suffering of millions into one heart-wrenching image.

2.8 million
Children displaced by the war in Syria
 

If you think these images will change anything, think again.

IMAGE: What choice do Syrian children have? The image above sums up Syria's tragedy.
You live in Syria you become an 'Omran Daqneesh', you leave, you risk becoming an 'Aylan Kurdi'.
That's the tragedy of Syria's children. Photograph: Khalid Albaih/Facebook

'The whole world,' United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson says, 'has failed the Syrian people.'

If Syria's children are to be saved from the unspeakable savagery of war, the world's leaders need to stop ignoring the tragedy and intervene quickly to halt the conflict.

Will they?

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