Justice

This 7-Year-Old Girl's Tweets Offer a Glimpse into Syria's Overlooked Tragedy

There's a crisis in Syria and one 7-year-old girl is using Twitter spread the word about the tragedy of the ongoing war.

Last week UNICEF released a statement that nearly 100 children were killed and more than 200 injured in bombing attacks in eastern Aleppo in Syria.

"Indiscriminate bombing and shelling continues in a shocking and unrelenting manner, killing and maiming civilians, subjecting them to a level of savagery that no human should have to endure," United Nations aid chief Stephen O'Brien said on Sunday, according to CNN.

 

On Monday, a civilian hospital in eastern Aleppo was destroyed by air strikes killing at least seven people, according to opposition activists with the Aleppo Media Center, CNN reports. Over the past 10 days, Russian and Syrian war planes have killed hundreds of people and left more than 1,000 people injured in the rebel-controlled area of the city, according to The Guardian.

With the help of her mother Fatemah, 7-year-old Bana al-Abed is live tweeting her experience as a child living through the bombing in that area.

“When those bombs strike, our hearts shake before the buildings do,” said Fatemah al-Abed to the Guardian via Skype.

The account @AlabedBana that started on Sept. 24 already has thousands of followers and captures what it's like to be a child living through bombing in eastern Aleppo.

Bana begins by calling for peace.

She says that the bombing is destroying her dream of becoming a teacher.

Bana makes a plea to world leaders on all sides of the conflict who are responsible for the bombings in Syria

The account also shares devastating pictures of rubble and the bombings' aftermath.

They also posted a video of Bana listening to the bombs going off.

One of the most recent tweets is a video of Bana waking up with her siblings. She assures the world that they are still alive.

"Good morning from Aleppo. We are still alive."

However, there has been criticism of Bana's tweets, as well.

In one tweet, the account says World War III would be better than the current situation in Syria, which drew some backlash.

One account, which frequently posts pro-Assad tweets, criticized Bana and her mother, accusing them of spreading propaganda to encourage U.S. military action against Syrian government forces.

However, Bana and her mother's tweets make an important point: the Syrian government is not solely responsible the death toll.

Bana's tweets call out President Barack Obama, President Vladimir Putin, Assad, and the rebel forces to stop the air strikes and violence that's killing civilians.

The Civil War in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, when Syrian President Bashar Al-assad violently cracked down on a protest against his government for civil rights abuses. The crisis has only deepened since then, with Russia carrying out air strikes in defense of the Assad government, and the United States providing weaponry to rebel groups, and conducting bombing raids against the terrorist group ISIS in other parts of the country.

Although estimates vary, the death toll from the Syrian civil war is thought to be nearly half a million people.

The recent air strikes in rebel-controlled eastern Aleppo, where Bana lives, are reportedly being carried out by Syrian and Russian government forces. However Syrian government officials denied targeting civilians, even in the face of the rising civilian death toll, according to Reuters.

A U.S. led coalition aimed at fighting ISIS killed at least 70 civilians during an aerial assault on northern the city of Manbij. The majority of the victims were women and children, according to the Guardian. An anti-ISIS activist group warned in a tweet that the U.S. killing of civilians could lead to more terrorist fighters.

Two weeks ago, U.S. air strikes also accidentally killed more than 60 members of the Syrian Army who were reportedly fighting against ISIS, according to the New York Times. The Syrian government called the attacks intentional and accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS.

You can see all of Bana and Fatemah's tweets here: @AlabedBana.

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