Syrian Conflict

"You must do something for the children of Syria" - 7-year-old Bana writes open letter to Trump

The Syrian child came to prominence by describing life in besieged Aleppo.

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Syrian girl Bana al-Abed, who came to international attention with her tweets giving a tragic account of the war in Aleppo, has written an open letter to new US President Donald Trump.

In her letter Bana, who was evacuated from the besieged city to Turkey in December, appealed to Trump to help the children of Syria, the BBC reported.

“I am part of the Syrian children who suffered from the Syrian war,” she wrote, according to a transcript of the letter her mother sent to the BBC.

She told Trump her school in Aleppo was destroyed by the bombing and some of her friends had died.

“Right now in Turkey, I can go out and enjoy. I can go to school although I didn’t yet. That is why peace is important for everyone including you.

“However, millions of Syrian children are not like me right now and suffering in different parts of Syria,” she wrote.

You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you.

At least 15,000 children are among the more than 300,000 people who have been killed in Syria’s six-year war between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebel forces.

Through her tragic descriptions of life in besieged Aleppo on her @AlabedBana Twitter account, Bana became a symbol of the tragedy unfolding in Syria, although the government had slammed her and her mother’s nearly daily tweets as propaganda.

Turkey, which backs the Syrian rebels, is hosting some 2.7 million refugees from the conflict.

Peace talks

Syrian rebels and Assad’s government are currently holding peace talks in Kazakhstan with a view to ending the near six-year conflict, but there have been no signs of a breakthrough.

Trump’s administration was invited to participate in the talks organised by key players Russia, Turkey and Iran but did not send a delegation. The US was earlier sidelined from peace negotiations.

Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that the new US president was open to conducting joint operations with Russia to combat the Islamic State group, who control significant territory in northern Syria.

Trump Sean Spicer. AP Photo / Susan Walsh AP Photo / Susan Walsh / Susan Walsh

Russia, Iran and Turkey yesterday agreed to bolster a fragile truce in Syria, but rebels and Damascus made no progress towards a broader settlement to end the war after two days of talks.

The three main sponsors of the negotiations in Astana announced the creation of “a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire” in place since late December.

Moscow, Tehran and Ankara – all key players in the conflict – also agreed armed rebel groups should take part in a new round of peace talks set to be hosted by the United Nations in Geneva next month.

“There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and… it can only be solved through a political process,” said the final statement by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

However the final declaration was not signed by the rebels or the regime, whose negotiators did not hold face-to-face talks.

Kazakhstan Syria Mohammed Alloush, head of a Syrian opposition delegation, center, speaks to the media after the talks on Syrian peace in Astana. AP Photo / Sergei Grits AP Photo / Sergei Grits / Sergei Grits

‘No notable progress’

Russia – the driving force behind the meeting – has become the major powerbroker in Syria after changing the tide on the ground with its military support for leader Bashar al-Assad.

But while the Kremlin has succeeded in sidelining the West with its new drive to play peacemaker, there were signs Moscow will struggle to transform military gains into wider progress towards peace.

The latest diplomatic initiative to end the bloodshed in Syria that has cost 310,000 lives comes one month after regime forces, aided by Russia and Iran, dealt a crushing blow to the rebels by retaking full control of the country’s second city Aleppo.

© – AFP, 2017

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