A group of children at a playground were wiped out by troops during an unexpected air strike. It is one of the most heartbreaking scenes you will ever witness, as their parents and neighbors in a small Syrian village on the outskirts of Damascus rush to cradle their lifeless bodies.
If you needed proof that war is hell, this is it. The 10 kids were the latest casualties in the 20-month civil war between rebels and Syria's al-Assad government. But foot soldiers were not a part of this devastating scene, whose gruesome aftermath was caught on a heartbreaking YouTube video.
Sadly, it’s easy to become desensitized to war these days. With the U.S. embroiled in its own decade-plus conflict, we are all too familiar with many aspects of it. And of course there are all those battles, rebellions, and skirmishes the news reports of in far off lands. We may think we know what's going on, but this video should demonstrate that few of us really know the horrors of it.
On Sunday, the Syrian government led an air strike on the tiny rebel-held town Deir al-Asafir, where the children were having a carefree day. As they played, planes flown by Assad troops showered the area with bombs and one hit the playground full of kids. The moments that follow are horrifying, as the townspeople flocked to the dead children. It's almost too painful to watch, but an important lesson to us as we celebrate the season for peace, joy, and family in this country.
The victims of combat clearly aren’t just soldiers, they are children. Innocent children who die under bloody, horrific circumstances. To date, it's estimated that 40,000 civilians have been killed in Syria since the fighting began. According to Reuters, none of those killed in this recent attack were over age 15. You have to ask -- is any of this really worth that? If you are fighting to make the world better for your children, what are you really accomplishing if they are killed along the way?
Be warned. These images are graphic and quite disturbing.
Doesn't this video just break your heart?
Image via 00h Caffeine's Photostream/Flickr