The humanitarian situation in the besieged eastern suburbs of Damascus is “an outrage” as he stressed that food and medicine must be allowed to reach at least 350,000 trapped Syrians, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said on Friday.
“The shocking images of what appear to be severely malnourished children that have emerged in recent days are a frightening indication of the plight of people in Eastern Ghouta, who are now facing a humanitarian emergency,” Zeid said in a statement.
Earlier this week, the local council in the town of Harasta had warned of the consequences of the severe shortages of medical supplies on residents of the district. The Syrian Red Crescent evacuated several patient children for treatment in the capital Damascus.
Rural Damascus Provincial Council also called on relied aid organizations and owners of bakeries and local councils to exercise pressure the Assad regime and its allies to lift the brutal siege they impose on civilians.
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that the siege imposed by the Assad regime on rebel-held areas constitutes a “war crime” as it is aimed mainly at starving the civilian population and forcing them to surrender.
Regime forces have laid a suffocating siege on towns and villages of eastern Ghouta since October 2012, preventing the entry of food and medical supplies to around 350,000 people trapped inside. In addition to the siege, regime forces continue with attempts to advance on the area amid aerial and artillery bombardments targeting residential areas and medical facilities. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)