Syria’s children “hit rock bottom” in 2016, with more killed than in any other year of the civil war, Unicef has said.
At least 652 children died – 255 of them in or near a school – last year, a 20% jump from the number killed during 2015, the organisation said.
The figure only includes the deaths formally verified, meaning the number could be far higher.
Unicef also believes more than 850 children were recruited to fight.
“The depth of suffering is unprecedented,” said Geert Cappelaere, Unicef regional director for the Middle East and North Africa speaking from Homs, Syria.
Six million children are now relying on humanitarian aid due to the civil war, which has been raging for six years this week.
Some 2.3 million have fled the country, but the most vulnerable are the 2.8 million trapped in hard to reach areas, which includes 280,000 living under siege, Unicef said.
It also found two-thirds of children had either lost a loved one, had their house bombed or shelled, or been injured as a result of the war.