Leishmaniasis breaks out among Syrian army forces near Palmyra

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Syrian army troops. File photo

ARA News

DAMASCUS – Battling militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur), Dozens of soldiers of the Syrian army were reportedly infected with skin diseases, a source close to the Syrian army reported. 

“Dozens of Syrian troops have been infected with leishmaniasis, amid lack of treatment,” the source told ARA News on the condition of anonymity.

“It is difficult to transfer those infected into medical centers in the regime-held areas due to their large numbers. They are currently blocked in the desert suburbs near Palmya,” he said.

The source pointed out the soldiers called on their military leadership to immediately send them medical teams for treatment. 

“If the situation is not contained, the entire army would face the fate of those infected,” he argued, pointing out “we will definitely face defeat before the enemy (in reference to ISIS).”

The treatment of leishmaniasis disease is only available in official departments of the health ministry in the provinces, “so coordination is needed to deliver medicines to the army troops on the fighting fronts across Syria,” a medical source told ARA News.

“By now, there are campaigns underway in the coastal province of Tartus to deliver the needed medicine to the army’s infected soldiers on Palmyra’s fighting front,” the source added.

The regular army has made advances on the front of Palmyra during the past few weeks, especially in the towns of al-Kassarat and al-Tamthil west of the city of Palmyra, recapturing cellular tower of Syriatel and Muthallath Tadmur area in the eastern countryside of Homs, central Syria, after clashes with ISIS militants. 

The leishmaniasis is spread in the areas that lack services or full of garbage and dirt because of the proliferation of sand fly, the major holder of the diseaseــ which can cause significant deformations if the infected did not quickly receive treatment.

The ancient city of Palmyra fell to ISIS militants last May subsequent to fierce battles with Syrian army forces. 

Reporting by: Adel Hassan

Source: ARA News

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