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UN: Syrian Children Undergo 'Unspeakable' Horrors

  • VOA News

Children play in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 4, 2014.

Children play in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 4, 2014.

The first United Nations report on the plight of children in Syria describes what it calls "unspeakable" horrors carried out against youngsters by both sides of the conflict.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding that all such violations of the rights of children stop now.

The report released Tuesday accuses Syrian government forces of arresting and torturing children, in part, to put pressure on their families.

It says children as young as 11 have been beaten, whipped, raped, and chained to walls.

The report also says rebel groups have recruited children for combat and support roles and engaged in summary executions of children.

Syrian Refugees by Country

  • Lebanon: 909,639
  • Jordan: 596,800
  • Turkey: 594,854
  • Iraq: 217,144
  • Egypt: 133,267

Source: UNHCR
Neither side has yet to respond to the U.N. report.

Syrian activist groups say a government airstrike on a mosque in Aleppo being used as a school killed five people Tuesday while the state-run news agency says a terrorist shell killed a woman and a child.

The Syrian government uses the word "terrorist" to describe the rebels.

Syrian forces have been slowly advancing into rebel-held areas of Aleppo which were seized by the opposition in 2012.

Also Tuesday, Russian officials said they expect the Syrian government to resume peace talks with the opposition next week. The first round of talks in Geneva ended Friday with little progress.

Also Tuesday, Russian state media quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying Syria plans to remove a large shipment of chemical weapons this month.

The shipments are part of a plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons by the middle of the year. U.S. officials last week criticized Syria for what they said was the slow pace at which the process is progressing.

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