More than 300,000 civilians have been killed since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, at least 19,000 of them from the Assad regime’s bombing raids on rebel-held areas.
Assad and his forces use barrel bombs — steel barrels packed with explosives and shrapnel — to terrorize the population, often killing as many as 100 people at a time.
The military is known to target neighbourhoods where civilians congregate, such as hospitals, bakeries, schools, and playgrounds.
As a result, “everyday decisions — whether to go visit a neighbour, to send your child to school, to step out to buy bread — have become, potentially, decisions about life and death,” Frederic Hof, a former State Department policy planner on Syria under the current White House who is now a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, wrote in an analysis of the war’s casualties.
The video below shows men trying to rescue children from a crumbling building in the aftermath of an airstrike — and demonstrates the kind of heroism that has become commonplace in a country that has been ravaged by war for nearly five years:
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