Starving People In A Besieged Syrian Town Are Eating Grass To Survive (Photos)
The rebel-held Syrian town of Madaya, located around 15 miles northwest of Damascus, has been besieged by government forces and their allies from the Lebanese Hezbollah militia since last summer. Consequently, many of its people are reportedly starving, severely malnourished and desperate for relief.
Heartbreaking images of emaciated children reportedly in the town emerged in the past several days.
The situation in Madaya is so dire, medical professionals in the town told Al Jazeera people "were eating grass to stay alive." People there are apparently consuming anything they can find.
There are reportedly around 40,000 people in Madaya without access to food or medicine, and 300 children are suffering from malnutrition.
Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, said,
The UN also said it received reports people are not only dying from starvation, but being killed if they try to leave.
What's happening there is yet another reminder President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for an astronomical amount of suffering in his country.
It's worth noting Assad's regime killed far more people in Syria last year than ISIS.
On Thursday, the UN announced the Syrian government said it would allow aid to be delivered to the town. This is good news, but it does not excuse the numerous crimes against humanity the Assad regime already committed.
The Syrian civil war began in 2011. Since that time it's estimated over 250,000 people were killed and millions more displaced from their homes.
Unfortunately, it does not appear the conflict will cease any time in the near future, but that doesn't mean the international community can't do more to aid both Syrian civilians and refugees.