Today in Syria we see modern technology in the form of bombs, chemicals and other weapons being used to further so-called intelligent political ends. But it does not feel intelligent to watch as more than 100,000 people are killed or while children are targeted. It feels downright stupid, and worse, to prevent humanitarian supplies from reaching clinics where, as Save the Children will document in a forthcoming report, children are having limbs amputated for lack of basic facilities, and newborn babies are dying in incubators for lack of power.
What's happening in Syria is an abomination, one that the world is watching coldly from a distance. Where is our emotional intelligence, our sense of collective justice?
We must work together to end this war and to protect the children of Syria. The international community has watched from the sidelines for three years as this conflict rages, engulfing all hope. As a father and grandfather I watch the suffering of Syria's children and must now say: no more.
I often wonder what we must look like to other beings watching from deep space. As we look out at the universe, we are looking back in time, because light leaving distant objects reaches us much, much later. What does the light emitting from Earth today show? When people see our past, will we be proud of what they are shown – how we, as brothers, treat each other? How we allow our brothers to treat our children?
Truce agreed around Damascus
Syria's army and rebels have agreed local truces in key flashpoints around Damascus, despite regime and opposition representatives failing to make any progress in Geneva peace talks.
In the southern suburb of Babbila, AFP journalists on Monday saw rebels and soldiers -- all armed -- in conversation, which would have been unthinkable just days ago.
The local truces come 18 months into fierce fighting in and around the capital that has led rebels and regime forces to compromise, with neither side able to clinch victory. In addition to Babbila, deals have been struck for Qudsaya, Moadamiyet al-Sham, Barzeh, Beit Sahem, Yalda and Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp. Negotiated by public figures, a siege being lifted and food allowed in to rebel-held areas, with opposition fighters handing over heavy weapons and the regime raising its flag.