The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, commonly known as UNICEF, published a statement on latest events in northwestern Syria. “At least 12 children have been killed in northwestern Syria since April 20 as violence in the demilitarized zone continues to escalate.”, statement reads.

The UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that more than 30,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and flee the violence during the month of April.

Local militants linked to “Hayat Tahrir al Sham” (HTS) terrorist group use the civilian infrastructure as stronghold for resistance to Syrian Arab Army. “Four health facilities are now reported to be out of service after being hit and destroyed recently, leaving thousands of people without access to life-saving medical support. Schools are also reported to have been hit and damaged in Idlib and Hama,” – she added.

According to latest reports, the HTS-linked armed groups sustained heavy losses as a result of clashes with the Syrian army for last month. Some of militants were spotted using local residents as human shields.

“UNICEF teams are working closely with partners to provide some basic support, but without an end to the fighting there is only so much we can do. We yet again urge all parties to the conflict and those with influence over them to protect children at all times. Killing and maiming children is a grave violation of children’s rights. Civilian infrastructure including health, water and education facilities, are not a target and must not come under attack.” – Henrietta Fore concluded.

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