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Thousands of Syrian Children May Not Survive the Winter

Thousands of Syrian Children May Not Survive the Winter

With winter arriving soon, some 200,000 Syrian refugee children are at “serious risk.” More than 2 million people have been displaced as the 20 month conflict drags on and the United Nations expects that some 700,000 people will register as refugees by the end of this year. While some families have been able to settle in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, others are struggling in “makeshift conditions” without adequate shelter or clothing against the normal conditions for winter in much of the Middle East — torrential rains and sub-zero temperatures.

Support for the Syrian opposition has grown with the U.K., the European UnionTurkey, Libya and the six member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council all officially recognizing the coalition of organizations including the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and other groups within Syria. France had been the first Western country to recognize the Syrian opposition in the previous week. The U.S. — perhaps wary of being drawn more directly into the conflict — has offered support for the Syrian opposition but has yet to recognize it.

Should the government of President Bashar al-Assad collapse, the Cairo-headquartered Syrian opposition says that, for the first six months, $60 billion in aid will be needed to reconstruct the country’s  infrastructure and economy, both of which have been been battered in the months of warfare.

More than 38,000 people have been killed since March of 2011, making Syria’s uprising the bloodiest of those of the Arab Spring. Signs of how the civil war in Syria has been spreading unrest throughout the region have been more and more evident. Turkey has asked NATO — and struck a deal — for ground-to-air missiles to protect its border with Syria. Erlier this month, a Syrian mortar shell hit territory in Israel’s north and led to Israel firing back “warning shots.”

France and other European ministers have raised the possibility of lifting an arms ban to supply the rebels with weaponry including anti-aircraft missiles. But Russia, Syria’s long-time ally, has said that doing so would be in violation of international law.

As of this Monday, rebels said they had seized the headquarters of an army battalion in Damascus after four days of fighting. Fom this and other military gains, Michael Weiss writes in Foreign Policy that the insurgents are indeed gaining territory and certainly “more high-grade materiel” from Assad’s regime. It may well be only a matter of time before Assad’s regime falls — but not in time for elderly, sick and young Syrians who have fled their homes.

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79 comments

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10:34PM PST on Dec 8, 2012

If Assad resorts to chemical weapons, the toll may be much higher.

2:14AM PST on Dec 5, 2012

poor syrians

5:07AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

I don't understand why United Nation cannot take action against President Bashar al-Assad and his government? So many civilians have been killed including children while the world in looking on.

7:25AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

This article is filled with propaganda, lies of omission and outright lies. As to Syrian shells hitting the illegally occupied Golan Heights, how can the author call the Golan Heights,'Israeli territory'?
The Golan Heights are Israeli occupied territory.
As for helping the mercenaries, including Al Quada, US & Britain have admitted to facilitating weapon shipments & financial aid against the legal government of Bashar AlAssad, a crime against a legal government that in no way threatens US.

5:09PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

this is so sad

1:32PM PST on Nov 26, 2012

i hear all this talk about the middle east, what about the congo in africa, why doesn't anyone here write about that, millions of people have been killed and thousands are being killed each year, yet nothing on cares or the u n or the news

5:50AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Very sad state of affairs.

3:16AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

this is how it goes......the games people play.....

1:56PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

One can only pray that change will come.

10:03AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

My heart goes out to the innocent children. Prayer is love in action.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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