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Syrian Conflict Now Longer Than World War II

A child carries a bag of firewood she bought for her family in besieged east Ghouta, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Al Shami

While the war in Syria rages on, a United Nations (UN) official has indicated that the Syrian conflict has now lasted longer than World War II.

The official says while there had been a period of de-escalation in many areas of war-riven Syria – reducing human suffering to some extent – the fighting now seems to be returning to some of the “bleakest days” of the conflict.

The situation is particularly concerning in eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, where some 400,000 men, women and children are living in besieged towns and villages, and extremely high prices have put food and basic supplies beyond reach.

Jan Egeland, the Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria warned that conditions could get much worse as winter closes in and temperatures could plummet to freezing.

“[They have been through] a seven-year war, longer than the Second World War With little, if any, reserves, no heat in their houses and living amid ruin, [for them] it will be a horrific winter.”

Egeland says there are also growing numbers of acutely malnourished children, calling on the parties to the conflict to allow medical evacuation urgently.

Since September, eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, has been completely cut off and the sole life-line for those still there are humanitarian convoys which, when successful in getting to the location, brings in food and medical supplies.

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