Syrian children, who were displaced with their families from eastern Aleppo, play in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
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BEIRUT: After seven years of war in Syria, the United Nations has one thing to say: Stop the war on children.Of Syria's estimated 10 million children, 8.6 million are now in dire need of assistance, up from about half a million after the first year of war.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has tracked the war since it began, has documented as many as 19,800 children killed since the conflict began in March 2011 .And in the first two months of 2018, more than 1,000 children have been killed or wounded, according to the U.N.In its report, Save the Children said the number of people displaced has grown by 60 percent since the de-escalation zones were announced last July, with up to 250 children fleeing their homes every hour.In a reminder of the horrific toll of Syria's civil war, an exhibit in Beirut of poetry written by Syrian refugee children and illustrated by Lebanese and Syrian artists captured the pain the children grapple with.Noting that during seven years of war, not a single party to the conflict has shown any respect for the "sacred principle of protection of children," Cappelaere said that he fears for the future of Syria.
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