UN: ‘Unspeakable Suffering’ for Syria’s Children

BEIRUT (AP) -

Children in Syria have been subjected to “indiscriminate” attacks by President Bashar Assad’s forces, and recruited for combat and terror operations by the rebels fighting to topple him during the country’s nearly 3-year-old conflict, a new United Nations report said.

The report to the U.N. Security Council by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlights the plight of children in the conflict from the beginning of the uprising against Assad in March 2011 until Nov. 15, 2013. It was given to the council this week and posted on the U.N. website Tuesday.

Ban said Syrian children have been subjected to “unspeakable and unacceptable” suffering during that time. “Violations must come to an end now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government missed another deadline for destroying its chemical weapons Wednesday, but pledged to complete the process by June 30 as promised.

Under a timetable set up by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Syria was to have given up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons by Wednesday. Last week, a U.S. diplomat said Syria had only removed 4 percent of its most deadly chemicals so far. All should have been removed by Dec. 31 under the framework.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said the U.S. is fully committed to the process.