Save the Children is appalled by what appears to be a series of chemical attacks in Idlib, Syria, this week.
The horrific alleged attacks have had devastating and deadly consequences for children and families. According to the World Health Organisation (Source: ABC News Online), the death toll had risen to at least 70 on Thursday.
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Director, said: “Doctors at a health clinic run by our partner, Syria Relief, told us they received three children under six years old.
“They were struggling to breathe and barely conscious, with running noses and contracted pupils – doctors say these symptoms are consistent with the use of nerve agents such as Sarin.”
Medics in Khan Sheikhoun told us that nearly a third of the casualties they have seen are children.
A Save the Children health clinic in nearby Maret al Numaan received three cases and transported them by ambulance to hospital. But staff warn that health facilities are overwhelmed and ongoing bombing is making roads treacherous.
A further rocket releasing a currently undetermined chemical substance was alleged to have been dropped in the same area at lunchtime and many families are said to have fled north, desperate to escape a further attack.
Despite the unimaginably difficult conditions inside Syria, we continue to work with brave partners to offer a lifeline to exceptionally vulnerable children.
As violence escalates in Syria, children are facing increasingly desperate shortages of food and medicine.
In the first three months of 2017, aid convoys were only able to reach 9% of the 4.6 million people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas across Syria. Around 2.5 million children have been left without help.
Despite repeated commitments to ensure aid is delivered, less is now getting through than a year ago. Convoys continue to be routinely obstructed and denied access, and blocked by renewed violence and bombing.
Even when convoys have got through in recent weeks, vital medicine and surgical supplies are reportedly not being allowed on to the trucks.
This is only the latest horror to come out of Syria, where children and families have been subject to six years of war and unimaginable hardship. It underscores how critical the situation is — and how desperately help is needed.
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