The UN is predicting that by the end of this year almost 10million people in Iraq will be in urgent need of help... Already, 1.3million children have been torn from their homes and more than three million do not have access to quality education. Children face danger on a daily basis and have witnessed unspeakable cruelties. Girls have fallen victim to enslavement and sexual violence. Children have been used as suicide bombers and as human shields. Most are living without physical protection, psychosocial support, and basic services.
We mourn what we can identify with, more than with what we can't. Part of me knows that the ruins are merely stone, and that they have already been partially destroyed or mutilated many times in their 2,000-year history. And yet if they are bulldozed to the ground in the coming days, I shall shed a tear for their loss.
After the rejection by the British Parliament of intervention against Assad, he has been given free rein to destroy Syria and its people, creating devastation, chaos and a power vacuum. Into that gap stepped Islamic State, Iran and the Shia militias which have committed brutal and widespread crimes of their own.