The living conditions of thousands of civilians trapped in the city of Deir Ezzor have further deteriorated in the wake of on offensive launched by ISIS on the besieged parts of the in mid-January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Saturday.
In its flash update about the situation in the beleaguered city, the OCHA said that the intensified fighting has led to rising civilian casualties and growing humanitarian needs amid severe shortages of basic commodities and fuel and unprecedentedly freezing temperatures at night. Electricity and water supplies have also been badly affected by the ongoing fighting between regime forces and ISIS militants.
Nearly 100,000 civilians trapped in Deir Ezzor city are currently denied sustainable access to food and medical aid, OCHA warned.
Medical sources inside the besieged city reported 19 civilian deaths and at least 44 civilian injuries due to shelling between 15 and 23 January, the OCHA said. It added that at least 42 critical civilian medical cases need to be evacuated. An additional 55 injured civilians are in urgent need of transportation to other areas inside the city for medical care.
Meanwhile, the UN World Food Program on Tuesday announced it has restarted airdrops of food to support 93,500 Syrians besieged by ISIS in Deir Ezzor.
Airdrops were halted on January 15 after ISIS militants cut the besieged zone in two and overran the drop zone that had been used for 177 air drops since April.
WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher said a new drop zone was now in use and air drops resumed on January 29, with two drops at the new site so far. A total of 3,340 tons of food and other humanitarian aid have been dropped since last April. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)