When it comes to Syria, history will judge our generation harshly for its failure to address this problem head-on. This failure to engage and to deal with the developing conflict may well prove to be one of President Obama’s worst legacies.

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LAST summer I had just landed in the U.S. on my way back from a medical mission to the Middle East when my wife texted me that our young daughter had fractured her arm. It was the only time one of our children had needed emergency care, and it was jarring knowing that my daughter might be hurting and afraid.

However, a few hours later, my daughter’s arm was in a cast and she was back at home. In fact, the experience was so reassuring for our daughter that she asked to go back the next day. It was such a relief, knowing that my daughter was cared for and that she was not afraid. And of course, in light of the recent news, it made me reflect on the reality that so many children in Syria now face.

Today, many of the children in Syria find themselves in a situation where there is no access to medical care or education, living evidence of the collective failure of the world community to tackle a problem many have called “the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.”

How to help

The Syrian American Medical Society is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, medical-relief organization working on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria and neighboring countries. www.sams-usa.net

Karam Foundation is a nonprofit organization helping Syrian families suffering from lack of basic necessities. www.karamfoundation.org

When a child is injured, should they have the good fortune to find an operational medical facility, they may have no access to a physician let alone to a specialist. In Aleppo, many of the underground hospitals have been destroyed and many emergency procedures are being done in makeshift surgical theaters, sometimes in abandoned buildings. Moreover, when these kids leave the facility, their parents have no guarantee they will be safe.

Since the election of Donald Trump, Syria and Russia have escalated their attacks on Eastern Aleppo. The Obama administration seems to be unable or unwilling to do anything to stop the onslaught.

Over the past couple weeks several of the hospitals in and around the city of Aleppo have been targeted, leaving more than 100,000 civilian inhabitants completely without access to any medical facilities. Medical supplies are running so low that surgeries are being conducted without anesthetics. Chronic food and fuel shortages are making a dire and tense situation more catastrophic with real risk of mass starvation of the population.

When it comes to Syria, history will judge our generation harshly for its failure to address this problem head-on. This failure to engage and to deal with the developing conflict may well prove to be one of President Obama’s worst legacies.

Apart from the moral dilemma of the failure to protect civilians, the implications on our country are numerous. Damage to our foreign policy, exploding refugee crisis, erosion of our moral standing around the world and the rise of fundamentalist groups are a few of these implications.

Today, while political leaders continue to ponder how to tackle this conflict, there is a whole generation of children growing up in an environment that tells them there is nothing for them. That their lives are not worthwhile, and that they have no future.

Time is running out to save the children of Aleppo. Without direct engagement on the part of our government and by President Obama to facilitate an orderly resolution to the situation in Aleppo, the lives of many children are at risk.

Our country is directly involved in this situation, and we as a country bear some responsibility to help resolve this situation. President Obama is still our commander in chief and he should continue to act as one by taking a more proactive role in resolving this conflict.