(The Washington Post) – SIX YEARS after the people of Syria rose up against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, reports of the carnage there can be numbing, from the attacks on hospitals with shrapnel-filled “barrel bombs” to the starvation sieges imposed on hundreds of thousands of civilians. But a report issued this week by the United Nations offers fresh perspective. It concerns Syrian children, who it says suffered their “worst year” in 2016. The losses it chronicles are staggering, and heartbreaking. At least 652 children were killed, according to the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. An additional 647 were maimed. Many died in the systematic bombing by the Assad regime and Russia of schools and pediatric hospitals; there were at least 87 attacks on schools and their personnel, and more than 255 children were killed in or around educational facilities.