Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:20

Syrian Coalition Demands Immediate End to Siege of Eastern Ghouta as Activists Launch Solidarity Campaign

The Syrian Coalition said that the international community, especially the UN Security Council, is obliged to shoulder its responsibilities to put an end to the ongoing suffering of civilians in eastern Ghouta an to take action to ensure that the siege on the area and all other besieged areas across Syria is immediately lifted.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition said that “for nearly four years, the people of eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus have been enduring intense suffering as a result of the suffocating siege the Assad regime and Iranian terrorist militias laid on the area in a crime against humanity that continues right under the nose of the whole world. Their suffering is further increased by systematic, relentless artillery and aerial bombardment mainly by Russian air forces.”

Meanwhile, Syrian activists launched a media campaign on social media sites under the title "Assad is besieging eastern Ghouta" to draw the attention of the world to the suffering of about half a million people trapped inside, mostly women and children.

Activists and media workers in eastern Ghouta participated in the campaign along with many activists inside and outside Syria. The campaign seeks to draw the attention of the world to the tragedy unfolding in eastern Ghouta as a result of the siege Assad forces and their allies have imposed on the area since 2013.

In a statement released on Monday, organizers of the campaign said that "the de-escalation zones agreement” which went into effect about three months ago, included the opening of trade routes and allowing the delivery of aid to eastern Ghouta. However, none of these provisions has been implemented yet as the Assad regime has not opened any crossings nor does it allow patients and injured persons to leave for treatment.

Activists noted that the Assad regime is still besieging over 350,000 civilians, including thousands of children, in eastern Ghouta, denying then access to food and medical supplies and other basic necessities.

The statement called for the activation of all civil, media and diplomatic means to lift the siege of eastern Ghouta, which the Assad regime has isolated from the outside world for over 1,850 days.

Dr. Yahia Abu Yahya who works in the Hakeem medical center in the area said that “the center's 11 branches in eastern Ghouta had received 9,700 children in the last three months. He said that the children included 80 who were suffering from severe malnutrition and 200 other who were suffering from moderate acute malnutrition."

Hakeem went on to say that 4,000 more children are in urgent need for micronutrients, describing this “as a very dangerous indicator."

The local population in the eastern Ghouta suffer from extreme hunger and are going through the most terrible days since the beginning of the siege. The average income of a family in the area is around 50 dollars, while the unemployment rate is 70 percent and inflation rate reached 900 percent compared to last year.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the last humanitarian convoy containing food, medicine and other supplies entered only three towns in eastern Ghouta on September 23. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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