Football star Cristiano Ronaldo sends message of solidarity to Syrian children bombarded in Eastern Ghouta

Football star Cristiano Ronaldo sends message of solidarity to Syrian children bombarded in Eastern Ghouta
2 min read
14 March, 2018
World footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out against a brutal bombardment by the Syrian regime and ally Russia of the rebel-held enclave near Damascus.
Some 125,000 children are trapped in Eastern Ghouta [Getty]

World footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out against a brutal bombardment by the Syrian regime of a rebel-held enclave, where 400,000 civilians are trapped.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo took to social media on Tuesday to send a message to people in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

"Be strong. Have faith. Never give up. #7WordsForSyria," Ronaldo tweeted.

The footballer also shared a video by international aid group Save The Children, highlighting the suffering of children in Eastern Ghouta.

Eastern Ghouta has been facing a fierce Russian-backed offensive that has killed more than 1,100 people and wounded thousands more in recent weeks.

Some 125,000 children are trapped in Ghouta, many of them acutely malnourished, the UN has warned.

Save the Children, in a report issued on Monday, described an "apocalyptic" bombing campaign in Ghouta that has targeted homes, more than 60 schools, 24 hospitals and other medical facilities and forced thousands to live in underground shelters.

"For hundreds of thousands of children in Syria, this is the worst point of the conflict so far," Save the Children said in its report.

After seven years of war in Syria, of the country's estimated 10 million children, 8.6 million are now in dire need of assistance, according to the UN.

Nearly 6 million children are displaced or living as refugees, and about 2.5 million are out of school.

Over 3 million children are exposed to the hazards of unexploded ordinance and land mines, even in areas where the conflict has died down. Some 40 percent of those killed by landmines are children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has tracked the war since it began, has documented as many as 19,800 children killed since the conflict began in March 2011.

Ronaldo has long raised awareness about the plight of Syrian children and has donated to their cause.