Survivors often say they have no words to describe tragedies.
But UNICEF, the United Nations’ agency that aids the world’s needy children, truly had no words Tuesday for the ongoing “war on children” in Syria.
The agency issued a “statement” on the conflict that was essentially one sentence, followed by 10 blank lines.
“No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones,” said the agency’s regional director, Geert Cappelaere.
Then came a stack of quote marks and a chunk of white space.
With the statement, which also was posted on social media, UNICEF is clearly trying to bring attention to an escalating slaughter in the country, which has been wracked by civil war since 2011.
At least 20 children were among the more than 250 civilians killed in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta in the past 24 hours after the Syrian regime carried out a series of airstrikes on the Damascus suburb.
Rami Abdel Rahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told CNN this is the largest death toll in Eastern Ghouta since an alleged chemical attack killed hundreds in the area in 2015.
The UN agency couldn’t resist ending its mostly blank message with a few words, however.
“UNICEF is issuing this blank statement. We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage,” it said. “Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”