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Children in Aleppo, Syria who attend an after-school English program.

These Syrian children have some questions for Trump and Clinton


These Syrian children have some questions for Trump and Clinton

WATCH  | Syrian children submit their own presidential debate questions 

Do you ever think to come to live in Aleppo to face the killing and destruction?
Maram, Age 10

Syria ignored in the first presidential debate

In the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Syria was only mentioned in passing. 

For this next debate, a group of students in the besieged city of Aleppo came up with their own list of questions they hope the moderators will ask the candidates. 

They don't smile and laugh at home, so they do it in class.
Abdelkafi al-Hamdo

Going to school in a war zone

According to UNICEF, thousands of schools have been damaged or destroyed in the war. Some two million children inside the country are out of school.

Abdelkafi al-Hamdo is an English teacher at one of east Aleppo's few remaining schools. He says his students have adapted to life in a war zone. They make it to class on time, al-Hamdo says, even when there was an airstrike just an hour earlier.

Will help the Syrian kids in the same way that you help the American kids?
Nawal, Age 13

The war's disproportionate impact on children

Since the Syrian government's offensive in Aleppo started at the end of September, at least 290 people, mostly civilians, have been killed. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 57 of those were children. 

In this Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 photo, Syrian children line up to wait their turn to buy bread, outside a bakery shop in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria. Bread and other daily needs have become harder to come by in some areas in Syria. The U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said Thursday, Aug. 15, 2012, that the humanitarian situation has worsened amid the fighting and that some 2.5 million people in the country are in need of assistance. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

According to Save the Children, about half the casualties being pulled from the rubble are children. 

Bana Alabed is a 7-year-old girl living inside eastern Aleppo.

Mr. Trump, Ms. Hillary. If we are your kids, what will you do for us?

With the help of her mother Fatemah, Bana's been tweeting about the horrors she witnesses.

She gave Circa her one question to the candidates:  

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. For presidential candidates, the town hall debate is a test of stagecraft as much as substance. When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump meet in the Sunday, Oct.9, 2016, contest, they’ll be fielding questions from undecided voters seated nearby. In an added dose of unpredictability, the format allows the candidates to move around the stage, putting them in unusually close proximity to each other. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP, File)

Where Clinton and Trump stand on Syria 

Neither candidate has devoted much time on the campaign trail to discussing how they would handle Syria. 

No boots on the ground

Clinton has taken more hawkish positions on Syria than President Obama. While Secretary of State, she favored stronger action against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, including the arming of moderate Syrian rebels.

In a break with the administration's current policy, which is limited to airstrikes and supporting moderate militias, Clinton supports a no-fly zone to protect civilians. She's also suggested she would put troops on the ground to fight ISIS, but says she would not seek a full-scale combat mission. 

The U.S. has bigger problems than Assad.
Donald Trump

Trump has called for up to 30,000 American troops on the ground to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He doesn't, however, support military action to remove Assad. 

His running mate Mike Pence took a different position at the vice-presidential debate, saying the United States should be prepared to strike Syrian military targets to protect civilians. 

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