2016 was ‘rock bottom’ for children in Syria

More Syrian children were killed in 2016 than in any other year of the six-year conflict, making last year the worst on record for children in the war-torn nation, according to children's charity UNICEF.

At least 652 children died in the last 12 months, a 20% increase on 2015, the organization said...

Nearly half of those children were killed in or near school.

The report includes only verified figures, meaning the death toll could be much higher, the report said.

At least 850 children were recruited to fight in the conflict in 2016 -- more than double the number the year before, the report said. Increasingly, children were being used to fight on the frontlines and in combat roles, "including in extreme cases as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards."

Since the war began in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed in what the United Nations is calling the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

[Full Report - CNN.com 3/13/17]