With little more than 10 lines of blank text, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) made a powerful statement Tuesday. 

Responding to reports of mass casualties of civilians in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, UNICEF issued a blank statement, writing in a footnote, “We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”

According to reports, at least 250 civilians have been killed in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, since Monday, with Monday being called the deadliest day in the past three years in the region. 

As the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, rages on, Eastern Ghouta has become a full-on humanitarian crisis. An estimated 272,500 people are in need of humanitarian aid, but only 2.6% of them are able to receive it, according to Al Jazeera

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The population of 400,000 people has been caught in the crossfire of a bombing campaign by the Syrian government against opposition rebels, who maintain a stronghold in the region. 

BBC reports that four hospitals were hit by bombs on Monday, and that bombed out roads will prevent ambulances from being able to reach injured civilians in the area. 

“Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now,” Panos Moumtzis, the United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement.

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The casualties in Eastern Ghouta, which included at least 58 children and 42 women, add to the more than 400,000 people who have been killed in Syria since 2011. 

“This cannot go on,” the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria wrote on Twitter. “We cannot let history repeat itself.” 


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After 250 Civilians Were Killed in Syria, UNICEF Issued a Chilling Response

By Phineas Rueckert