The U.N.’s humanitarian chief called Saturday for a cessation of hostilities in a Damascus suburb besieged for months by the Syrian army, so that food and vital medical aid can be delivered, Agence France-Presse reported.
Some 3,000 people were evacuated from the area of Moadamiyet al-Sham last week, however, the U.N.’s Valerie Amos says that “the same number or more remain trapped.”
She noted that continued shelling and fighting hinder aid workers from reaching the suburb, southwest of the main city.
“I call on all parties to agree an immediate pause in hostilities in Moadamiyet to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and deliver life-saving treatment and supplies,” Amos said.
She went on to emphasize that Moadamiyet al-Sham is not the only town under siege in Syria.
“Thousands of families also remain trapped in other locations across Syria, for example in Nubil, Zahra, old Aleppo town, old Homs town and Hassakeh,” she stated.
“How many more children, women and men will needlessly lose their lives? The humanitarian community has stressed time and time again that people must not be denied life-saving help and that the fighting has to stop,” Amos said.
Moadamiyet al-Sham is largely controlled by rebels seeking the overthrow of the government, although pockets remain under the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, reported AFP.
The opposition accuse the army of creating a situation in which residents are starving to death due to the latter’s almost daily bombing and siege of the area.
The government accuses the opposition of holding residents of the district hostage.
At the end of August, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based NGO, reported two children aged three and seven had died from a disease related to malnutrition.
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