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The human cost of Syria war: Little boy in Aleppo a vivid reminder of war’s horror

Damascus: Images of a five year old Syrian boy – covered in dust and blood after being plucked from a bombed out building – have gone viral after they were posted to social media, provoking widespread outrage and upset. Many times war is boiled down to daily stories of how many people were killed, how many were wounded, what places were bombed.

The true cost of the bloodshed can frequently be overlooked. And sometimes an image reminds us of the horror of it Aleppo is a city in northern Syria that has been besieged for years during that country’s civil war. Thousands of people have been killed there, and many lives have been upturned.
On Wednesday, three more people died and at least 12 others were wounded in the rebel-held al Qaterchi neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A video circulating on social media of one of the little injured victims is just heartbreaking. The boy, just a toddler, is lifted out of the rubble of a building that was bombed Wednesday night. A civil defense worker carries him to an ambulance. His cartoon character T-shirt is covered in dust, the left side of his face is blood red and he is silent despite the cacophony of screaming men around him. His eyes look glassy as he sits on the vehicle’s orange seat, his hands on his lap as he awaits treatment.

He raises his left hand to his eye and wipes it, and feels the area around his temple as if he has been hit there. He wipes his face and looks down at the blood. The disturbing pictures emerge at a time when more details of the suffering in Syria has been highlighted by Amnesty International.
It says nearly 18,000 people have died in custody since the crisis began in March 2011 but also believes the number is an underestimate.
Using survivors’ accounts, their report details the harrowing conditions for inmates and the brutal methods of torture including rape, sexual violence, flogging, burning and scalding.