The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime forces and their allies continue to impose brutal siege on at least 350,000 civilians in eastern Ghouta near Damascus despite the signing off on Russia-brokered “de-escalation zones agreement.”
In a report released on Tuesday, the Network said that the five-year siege has so far led to the death of no fewer than 397 civilians due to starvation and lack of treatment, including 206 children and 67 women. The rights group also said it had recorded many cases of congenital malformations due to severe malnutrition and lack of medical supplies.
“We live in a large prison. Unemployment rate is extremely high while per capita income does not exceed 1,000 Syrian pounds per month, which is below the price of any food item,” said Abdel-Moein Homs, documentation official at a medical center in eastern Ghouta.
Abdel-Moein added: “In the last few months, we have relied on locally produced food items such as corn, grass, and food supplies we have stockpiled in recent months.”
The Network estimates that there are approximately 543 cancer patients in eastern Ghouta, of whom 7 have died, including 4 children and women since Al-Wafideen crossing was closed down earlier in 2017. It warned of the lack of doses for treatment of cancer patients, noting that most of the deaths were recorded among the most vulnerable groups, such as infants, the elderly and sick.
The monitoring group called on the UN Security Council to fully enforce the resolutions it passed on the issue of humanitarian aid, namely resolutions 2139, 2165, 2191, 2254, and 2258.
The Network urged the international community to meet the financial commitments it pledged to the Syrian people and to press towards the opening of routes for the sustained introduction of food and medical supplies.
The Network called on the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to openly condemn the siege and massacres being committed against the Syrian people as they are the main culprit for the sabotaging of the de-escalation zones agreement and undermine progress in the political process. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)