To mark the second anniversary of the uprising against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Save the Children have issued a report, which claims the conflict has brought about the “collapse of childhood.”
The charity says as many as two million children have become victims of the violence and a whole generation is at risk of severe emotional scaring.
Describing his experiences, one young boy said: “The first shell fell on us. We went down to help clear the rubble and then another shell targeted us and I was injured and taken to hospital.”
One in three Syrian children complain of having had some contact with the violence that rages around them.
Save the Children’s chief executive, Justin Forsyth, says their stories are deeply shocking: “You never want to hear a child talk about watching their friend killed, or their father tortured in front of them, or their brother shot through the leg, or a little girl telling you what it is like to survive an air strike that’s killed some of her family.”
Those children that have managed to escape Syria find themselves struggling to survive on the streets of places like Beirut and Amman.