Syria has been in a Civil War for around seven years. A “civil war” means a country is fighting inside itself, not against another country. In this case, Syria’s government is fighting against other people in Syria who want to change the government. These people are often called “rebels”. But other countries, such as Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, are also a part of Syria’s civil war. Russia is helping the government of Syria.
For the last week, Syrian and Russian planes have been bombing an area near the country’s capital, Damascus. This area is called “Eastern Ghouta”. It is the only place near Syria’s capital where the government is not in control.
The bombing has been very, very heavy. At times planes were coming to drop bombs every minute. The bombs are killing hundreds of people who are not fighting in the war. These people are called “civilians”, which means people who are not soldiers, and can include children and old people. The bombing has killed around 400 civilians, and hurt almost 2,000 others. Families are hiding in basements and hoping that they will live.
About 400,000 people live in Eastern Ghouta. The area used to have many farms. Many of the fruits and vegetables for the country’s capital used to come from these farms. Now the people there have a hard time getting food and clean water. The government has blocked food from coming in. The area has not had electricity for four years.
People in Eastern Ghouta say that this is the worst bombing in years. Not only are the bombs killing innocent people, the bombs are also destroying buildings that help people stay alive, such as hospitals and places where food is stored. Doctors say that 22 hospitals and clinics in the area have been blown up or at least hurt by bombs. Now there are only 3 places to get medical help which are still fully working. Because there are so many hurt people, the doctors cannot help everyone.
The United Nations (UN) has asked for a ceasefire. A “ceasefire” is a time in a war when everyone stops fighting. The UN will vote on a ceasefire on Friday, February 23. But if Russia does not agree about a ceasefire, they can vote against it. If Russia votes against the ceasefire, the fighting and the bombing will go on.
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