The US State department slammed the Assad regime to end its siege of Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta and allow relief workers aid tens of thousands of residents there.
“Assad Regime must end the siege of East Ghouta, Syria now. News of United Nations Aid is positive but children and families are still on the verge of starvation. Holding innocent families hostage is abhorrent.”
“Food and medicine are not political tools. The UN must have unhindered access,” State department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated in a series of tweets on Monday in response to reports of escalating bombardment by regime forces on the rebel-held enclave east of Damascus.
The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein on Friday said that 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.
“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 in eastern Ghouta 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.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents of eastern Ghouta on Tuesday held a sit-in to protest against the insufficient aid supplies the UN aid teams introduced into the area as well as against the inaction of the international community towards the siege regime forces impose of their towns and villages.
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. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)