Starved civilians flee besieged Damascus suburb

October 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

Oct 29, – At least three of Damascus’s suburbs – Yarmouk, Eastern Ghouta and Muadhamiya – have been besieged by government forces for several months. Thousands of Syrian civilians have finally been allowed to leave the besieged Damascus suburb of Muadhamiya.

hromedia Starved civilians flee besieged Damascus suburb arab uprising2The HRO-media correspondent, who was at the scene, describes a tide of desperate people leaving the area, which has been closed off since March.

Supplies in Muadhamiya had been running desperately short, and residents had pleaded to be saved from starvation.

The exodus of civilians has been made possible by an apparent relaxation of a blockade by government forces.

The Syrian army had previously said that rebel-held areas of Damascus such as Muadhamiya could surrender or starve.

The situation has become so desperate that earlier this month Muslim clerics issued a religious ruling allowing people to eat cats, dogs and donkeys just to survive.

Those animals are usually considered unfit for human consumption in Islam.

Eating grass

The World Health Organization has confirmed 10 cases of polio in Syria – the first outbreak in the country in 14 years.

The UN body says a further 12 cases are still being investigated.

Before Syria’s civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children in the country were vaccinated against the disease, but now an estimated 500,000 children have not been immunised.

There has been speculation that foreign groups fighting in Syria may have imported polio into the country.

The disease has been largely eradicated in developed countries but remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil, was dismissed on Tuesday for leaving the country and acting without government permission, state media said.

Mr Jamil met US officials in Geneva over the weekend to discuss peace negotiations, according to UN and Middle East officials.

But the state news agency Sana said Mr Jamil had been dismissed by President Bashar al-Assad “because he left his centre of work without prior permission and did not follow up on his duties”.

“Additionally, he undertook activities outside the nation without co-ordinating with the government,” Sana said.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat contributed to this report.

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Category: Arab uprising

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