A UN envoy has warned that Syria's devastating civil war, now in its third year, will force a generation of children to grow up illiterate and filled with hate.
Leila Zerrougui, the special representative for children and armed conflict, said both sides of the Syrian conflict continue to commit grave violations against children.
She said scores of children have been killed, injured, detained and forced to witness or to commit atrocities as President Bashar Assad's troops battle opposition fighters trying to oust his regime.
She also said that thousands of schools have been destroyed. She spoke to reporters in Beirut after a visit to Syria where she met government officials and rebel commanders.
She said she has urged both sides to spare the children.