The Syrian civil war has been ongoing since 2011. Thousands of people are reported to be dead. The infrastructure of the country is crumbling. The regime clings on to power, maintaining that outside forces are responsible in part for the sorry state of affairs. The rebels, now often called the legitimate force in Syria, report almost daily on death and destruction, meted out by the Syrian regime.
All too often the source of the news is hard to verify. It is certain that atrocities are being committed by all fighters in this conflict. In the midst are the ordinary people. Those wanting to live their brief time on this earth as peacefully as possible. In conflicts such as Syria the old and the young are all too often the biggest losers.
There have been reports that NATO has responded to the killing of children in Syria. Monday we are reminded once more of the human cost to life of the Syrian civil war. In particular children.
Doctors treating the injured and dying in Aleppo report that more children are being killed than adults.
Stuart Ramsey's report from Aleppo makes compelling reading. In no uncertain terms it details the horrors of this conflict. Injured children being treat without the benefit of anaesthetic. Make-shift surgeries and operating theatres. The risk of infections high.
The medics interviewed maintain that the children are being targeted and killed by Syrian forces. This is not verified. It could be so. It could be a tactic aimed at mentally beating the adults into submission. It could be that innocent children often wander into unsafe areas were adults would not venture.
Aleppo has probably become a battle of wills. A place where the ultimate winner will be victorious over Syria as a whole. For now though civilians pay a huge price.
A lack of food, shelter and warmth are just some of their worries. Damaged buildings and ravaged streets are no places for children. In refugee camps the children still suffer. In September 2012 TEK reported on Child refugees in Syria. Has nothing changed?
The west has little time, money or stomach for more conflict. They have to tread wisely. Simply stepping into the fray could leave Syria more unstable than it is now. Things can always get worse, though that is sometimes hard to believe. As western nations gradually draw out of Afghanistan already they are becoming embroiled in the Maghreb region of Africa. Troops are on the ground in Mali and, in spite of upbeat propaganda, that war will not be easily won. We have all been there before, be it Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq.
The problem is though what are we going to do about the civilians in Syria. The children, the old and the vulnerable. Those who could be eeking out their last days in a war torn environment. Whilst we have no stomach for war something will have to be done.