The local council in the town of Aqirbat in eastern rural Hama declared the town and the surrounding villages a disaster area and warned of a “humanitarian disaster” in the ISIS-held area. The council called for the opening of safe corridors for civilians to leave.
“The town of Aqirbat as well as the nearby villages of Suha, Hammad Omar, Abu Hanaya, Rasm Awabid, Abu Habilat, and Umm Meel suffer severe shortages of food and medical supplies,” said head of the council Ahmad Hamawi on Tuesday. He pointed to the urgent need for medicines for chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as well as food supplies, especially infant formula and bread.
Hamawi sent an urgent appeal for opening safe corridors for the exit of civilians from the area. He called upon humanitarian and relief organizations to urgently intervene to provide aid to the people who managed to leave the area to Idlib province.
The council moved its headquarters to the town of Sarmada in rural Idlib after the area fell to the ISIS extremist group in the summer of 2014.
Civilian casualties of the bombing and fighting in the area are being transported by civilian vehicles to the town of Mayadim in rural Deir Ezzor located around 300 km to the east, Hamawi said. In addition to the lack of field hospitals, the suffering of civilians in the Aqirbat area is doubled by utter indifference shown by the ISIS group towards their plight.
Civilians in the Aqirbat area are caught in the crossfire of intensifying battles between the Assad regime and ISIS militants. Daily aerial bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian air forces also continues to leave many civilian casualties.
The Syrian Coalition on Monday condemned the crimes being committed by the ISIS extremist group against Syrian civilians in rural Hama. It emphasized that the Assad regime and its allied Iranian militias are fully responsible for such crimes as well as for exposing the country to foreign occupation, terrorism, and destruction. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)