Local humanitarian organizations have warned of an imminent humanitarian disaster threatening nearly 40,000 civilians in the area of al-Marj in eastern Ghouta which is about to be encircled by regime forces.
The organizations said the ongoing onslaught by pro-Assad forces on the area is designed to cut it off from the rest of eastern Ghouta. This scenario, these organizations warned, would lead to a situation similar to what happened in, Zabadani, Madaya, Muadamiyah, Yarmouk camp and Deir Ezzor which have been subjected to suffocating siege by pro-regime forces.
Regime forces seek to capture the route linking the towns of Zebdeen and Deir al-Assafir in the south to the towns of Kafr Batna and Jisreen in the north, thus isolating an area of around 500 hectares. This area is mostly farmlands that serve as a breadbasket for eastern Ghouta which has been subjected to siege by regime forces for over three years.
Residents of the area said that the towns threatened to be cut off from eastern Ghouta are Zebdeen, Deir al-Assafir, Bazina, al-Rukkabiya, al-Dweir, Harasta Qantara, Bala and Noula. It is estimated that over 40,000 people live in these towns.
Ayman Mustafa, a doctor working in a field hospital in Deir al-Assafir, warned of a health disaster that may befell residents of these towns because of the shortage of medical services and the inability of the few medical centers there to respond to the needs of the people residing in the area.
Mustafa stressed that children are the most vulnerable group as they have not received vaccinations for nearly a year, not to mention people with chronic diseases and pregnant women who need constant medical care. (Source: Al Jazeera)