France said it “utterly condemns” the siege imposed by the Assad regime on the town of Madaya, near the Lebanese border.
A statement issued yesterday by the French Foreign Ministry said that “while the 40,000 inhabitants of the town are starving to death, the regime is refusing access to the town by any humanitarian organizations. This situation is untenable and unacceptable.”
“France calls for an immediate end to this siege and for the provision of emergency access for humanitarian assistance in Madaya and all besieged areas in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254 and UNSCR 2258,” the statement added.
Yesterday, the Syrian Coalition warned of a humanitarian catastrophe threatening the life of civilians besieged by the Assad regime and the Hezbollah militia. Pro-regime forces have laid a crippling siege on towns of Madaya and Biqqin northwest of Damascus for several months, blocking the entry of basics to nearly 40 civilians trapped inside.
In a statement released yesterday, the Syrian Coalition’s legal committee called upon the Arab League, the United Nations, and the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to shoulder their responsibilities towards the civilians trapped by Assad gangs and the Hezbollah militia in Madaya, Biqqin and other besieged areas in Syria.
The committee stressed that urgent action must be taken to save the lives of innocent civilians, lift the siege and allow immediate and unfettered access to food convoys and medical supplies in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2139.
Paragraph VI of resolution 2139 demands that “all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, including across conflict lines and across borders, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people in need through the most direct routes.”
Moreover, UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) called on the parties to “immediately allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by most direct routes, allow immediate, humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas.”
Medical sources in Madaya confirmed that over 35 people had already died from hunger and cold in Madaya. They said field hospitals had recently received dozens of cases of fainting and food poisoning as a result of eating leaves and boiled grass after the town ran out of food. (Source: Syrian Coalition)