How to end Syrian children's living hell

Story highlights

  • Ordinary Syrians are best hope for rebuilding country, authors say
  • Authors: Children need protection of no-bombing zones

Dr. Samer Attar is an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern University who has gone on surgical missions to Aleppo, Syria. Dr. Zaher Sahloul is a past president of the Syrian American Medical Society, a nonprofit group representing more than 5,000 Syrian-American physicians. The views expressed are their own.

(CNN)A child in Aleppo, Syria, is asked to draw a picture at school.

He paints a world on fire: helicopters dropping bombs, a house collapsing into rubble. He draws himself, crying on his knees, surrounded by his friends -- dead, dismembered, decapitated, and bleeding.
    This is the type of sad reality that we have seen far too often as physicians working inside Syrian field hospitals -- children across the country living in hell. It is time to act if we are to prevent such heartrending scenes being played endlessly into the future.
      Every day we were in Syria we saw innocent people suffering and dying in abysmal conditions. On the worst days of shelling and airstrikes, there weren't enough hospital