The Murder of a Generation

3 Mar 2020
Muhammed Said/Getty Images

By Frederick James 

March 3, 2020

The Syrian Civil War between government forces of President Basher al Assad and opposition forces throughout the country started on March 15, 2011. Since that time over 511,000 people have been killed, 5.6 million Syrians are now refugees, and 6.2 million Syrians are displaced inside of Syria. About half of these total numbers are Syrian children. These children and their families have been destroyed by the continued violence in the region.

Basher al Assad


In Idlib, Syria, tank fire, small arms fire, grenades, Russian, Turkish, and Syrian jet fighters bombing civilian targets, terrorists groups killing innocent civilians, and disparaged local leaders wounded and killed for opposing the brutal and savage government of Basher al Assad have all characterized the unending miserable civil war. Inhuman conditions on levels not seen since the NAZI Holocaust 1933-1945 pervade the once historic land of Syria.

Infrastructure of Minds Destroyed

The standard of living and educational system in Syria have been set back by decades. Healthcare centers and hospitals, schools, utilities, and water and sanitation systems are damaged or destroyed. Historic landmarks and once-busy marketplaces have been reduced to rubble. War broke the social and business ties that bound neighbors to their community. 12 million people need humanitarian aid throughout Syria.

According to International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit aid agency helping Syrians,  “the civil war has become a sectarian conflict, with religious groups opposing each other, which affects the whole region and is heavily influenced by international interventions. News as of Feb. 20, 2020: 

Some 900,000 people in northwest Syria have been displaced by conflict since Dec. 1, 2019.  As attacks move further north in Idlib, people are increasingly squeezed into a small area near the closed border with Turkey, which was already hosting hundreds of thousands of displaced people.  Children make up more than 60% of those who’ve been driven from shelter. Indiscriminate bombing has destroyed roads, schools, and hospitals. Extreme cold is making life even harder, especially for children.  “Children are sleeping in flooded fields with no running water or proper protection from the elements. We’ve provided blankets, heaters, and cash, but people have no money to buy fuel and have told us that they are now burning clothes and trash to keep warm,” says World Vision International President Andrew Morley.”

Since the beginning of 2020 over 300 civilians have been killed in the ongoing civil war. Most of the civilian deaths were carried out by Syrian government forces. Over 80 innocent children were killed. This crisis of civil war and human brutality against civilians has reached a “horrifying level” said Mark Lowcock, the U.N. Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs. He also stated that, “Families who are fleeing indiscriminate ­violence are traumatized and forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures because camps are full. Mothers burn plastic to keep children warm. Babies and small children are dying because of the cold.”

Relief efforts are indescribably large and overpowering. Relief workers are targeted in Idlib. Residents of Idlib have long anticipated this tragedy. Syrian government forces have committed to rein in all of the nation’s residual provinces held by rebel forces. Al-Qaeda forces hold most of the town of Idlib in northwest Syria. 

According to the Washington Post, “By the time the latest government offensive started, in December, there were more than 3 million people in Idlib, including hundreds of thousands of people who had been displaced from other parts of Syria. Over the past few weeks, the Syrian army has stormed up Idlib’s eastern flank, sending a mass of terrified residents fleeing air and artillery strikes headed toward the Turkish border.”

The New York Times reported on March 2 that “United Nations investigators said that Russia had committed war crimes in Syria by carrying out indiscriminate airstrikes on civilian targets in 2019, condemning tactics they said the Syrian government and its allies were still using in the northwest province of Idlib. The investigators also said that Syrian rebels allied with Turkey had carried out war crimes during the invasion of Kurdish areas in northern Syria, and that Al Qaeda-linked rebels had inflicted scores of civilian casualties in rocket attacks on government-held areas.”

How many times will nations get away with war crimes against civilian populations? No one will respond to Russia, Syrian military forces or to Turkey. The constant devastation by countries on civilian populations is a major crime which must come to an end. The economic, social, and governmental structures of whole societies have been fragmented for years by power hungry religious fanatics and dictators who will not bend their will. Meanwhile the children are murdered and photographs of their lifeless bodies are shown on news websites. 

It is hard to believe that after the historical events of the Holocaust, the massacres in Rwanda, and the civilian deaths caused by Isis that people can kill children on a massive scale. Evil Russia which has caused pain and suffering to millions of people over the past 200 years should be stopped by NATO and the United States. Turkey is another country which has displayed irreverence towards human rights and needs to be stopped. Their attacks on the Kurds was another example of their ruthlessness.  

Endless wars are not in the interest of the United States. However, when children and civilians are killed for the sake of a plain, idiot dictator like al Assad there needs to be overwhelming military force to destroy the evil. 

Like all the perilous dictatorships of the past, the Syrian threat has menaced its own citizens for too long. The mystic chords of memory from the graves of World War II to the slaughter of children in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other areas of the Middle East and Africa call out for action against innocents. 

More than 7,500 children have been killed or wounded in Yemen in the last 5 1/2 years as a result of airstrikes, shelling, fighting, suicide attacks, mines and other unexploded ordnance, according to a new United Nations report. 

This is a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale. When children freeze to death, starve to death, are shot, beaten, or bombed from the skies over their country it is time to care. 

Man learns very little from History.

Frederick A. James