Unfortunately, this news is not a surprise:
"As Syria's civil war has intensified, thousands of children have died in brutal attacks and many more have been injured, traumatized or forced to flee their homes," the international charity Save the Children reports. And it warns that "boys and girls continue to be killed, maimed and tortured. These appalling violations against children must stop and those carrying them out held to account."
In heart-breaking detail, Save the Children details 14 kids' experiences. Fifteen-year-old Khalid tells of being tortured by authorities. He says he was hung by his wrists and beaten. Ten-year-old Munther describes seeing a friend get shot in the head. Others have similar stories.
"Almost every child we've spoken to has seen family members killed," Save the Children says. "Others tell of being caught up in atrocities, witnessing massacres or being tortured. They have seen and experienced things that no child should ever see, and many are deeply traumatized as a result. Their testimonies also corroborate violations documented by the UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in recent months. The acts described are consistent, recurring and appalling."
As the BBC notes, "the report comes at the start of the UN General Assembly's annual meeting. Earlier, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria was 'extremely bad and getting worse.' "
"The U.N.," as the BBC adds, "says more than 20,000 people have been killed since anti-government protests began in Syria in March 2011. Activists put the death toll as high as 30,000."
Most deaths have been blamed on government forces or militias loyal to President Bashar Assad.