The local council in the town of Zamalka east of the capital Damascus blamed the Assad regime forces which besiege eastern Ghouta for the mass food poisoning that affected civilians after they ate an unknown poison sold on markets as table salt.
The council said in a statement Thursday that the tightened years-long siege imposed by the Assad regime forces on eastern Ghouta has caused severe shortages of basic foodstuffs such as salt, flour and sugar. The blockade has also caused prices of foodstuffs to skyrocket, with over 80 percent of the impoverished people of eastern Ghouta buying items that are sold for less than the real price, including foodstuffs that may not be suitable for human consumption.
The council called on the United Nations and UN Security Council to take urgent action to force the Assad regime to lift the siege of eastern Ghouta and abide by UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolution 2254.
The statement stressed that the international community’s failure to put pressure on the Assad regime to force it to respect UN resolutions is a participation in the crime.
On Wednesday, three children died in a mass poisoning in Zamalka while another 24 people were hospitalized after they ate an unknown poisonous substance. Medical sources in the area said that the lives of seven people were in danger and they were put in intensive care.
In 2013, doctors and activists reported dozens of poisoning cases in the area due to the consumption of water that was contaminated with toxic substances. They were adamant that Assad regime forces were responsible for the incident.
According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published last September, 8.5 million children in Syria were affected by the conflict. Moreover, a report by the International Association for the Rights of Refugee said that children are paying the heaviest price for the conflict in Syria.
Assad forces and their allied foreign militias have laid crippling siege on eastern Ghouta for around four years and since then allow the entry of very limited amounts of food and medical supplies. Many civilians have died of hunger, poisoning and lack of health care. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)