Damascus under siege: Civilians starving in Yarmouk

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17-01-2014

 

ARA News

Damascus, Syria− At least 60 civilians have recently died out of hunger in Yarmouk district, in Damascus suburb. Yarmouk, where Palestinian refugees constitute a majority, is besieged by the pro-Assad regime army.

The area is blocked in face of any food supplies and basic needs since nearly one year. Activists reported hundreds of cases of civilians who suffer from hunger and serious deceases due to the lack of basic supplies and services. 

Unable of leaving the area, residents of Mukhayyam al-Yarmouk suffer the most under poor humanitarian conditions. Palestinian refugees in the area took to the street to raise their voice and demand regional and international powers to intervene and end the humanitarian crisis there. 

Next to the 60 victims of hunger in Yarmouk, hundreds of others are yet in danger of starvation. 

“Civilians in Mukhayyam al-Yarmouk suffer a serious crisis as the district is completely blocked by the Syrian army. Even the recently established field hospitals are in urgent need for medical supplies to treat the patients,” Bassem al-Sabbagh, an activist in Damascus, told ARA News. “Some organizations tried to convey humanitarian relief to the residents of Yarmouk, but the regime forces denied them access.”

According to Sabbagh, Palestinian officials held contacts with the Syrian regime in a try to allow humanitarian organization to enter the district and provide Palestinian refugees there with urgent aid.

Mature video footages published on You Tube showed Syrian forces opening fire against Yarmouk residents who were waiting for aid shipments at the entrance of the district. Other footages showed mass demonstrations in the streets of Yarmouk raising banners of “Almighty God, you are our only hope”, illustrating the residents’ hopelessness with the international community after continuous calls for help. At least three demonstrators were killed as the regime forces opened fire against them, activists said. 

On the other hand, the Syrian state media talked about “terrorists” who entered Yarmouk district and took it as a stronghold for its operations against the Syrian army. According to the state TV, “a terrorist group attacked aid shipments supposed to enter Mukhayyam al-Yarmouk”. 

With a sharp shortage of food, many of Yarmouk residents were forced to resort to the meat of dogs and cats to end their hunger, which reportedly caused serious deceases among hundreds of civilians in the district.  

Syrian activists appealed to the concerned organizations to take action regarding the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk. 

 

Reporting by: Jawad al-Ali. Contribution: Rwaida Alharfoush

Source: ARA News

(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid) 

 

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