Syria Daily: Starvation in Yarmouk Camp in Southern Damascus / LEFT WING PALESTINE SOLIDARITY STILL SILENT
By Joanna Paraszczuk, Scott Lucas January 16, 2014 – About 50 people dead from starvation in Yarmouk in Damascus –Attempts to deliver aid this week unsuccessful – Regime sieges of more than a year on areas near capital.
Eaworldview – 16-1-2014 – The claimed death toll from starvation in the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus is now about 50, with the prospect of more fatalities from the six-month siege by Syria’s military.
Yarmouk, largely populated by Palestinians, was taken by insurgent forces in early 2012. After fighting and the siege, its pre-war population of 250,000 is now less than 20,000. Palestinian organizations have been trying unsuccessful to get aid to the camp this week, and activists said that eight people died in Yarmouk on Tuesday.
Syrian forces have blockaded insurgent-held areas near Damascus for up to 14 months in an effort to break the opposition. Cases of death by starvation have been reported in towns such as Moadamiya, southwest of the capital.
Last month, the Syrian military and Moadamiya’s local council agreed a truce in which the regime flag would fly in return for aid to the town. Activists say deliveries of food have been sparse, however.
Opposition groups have demanded a lifting of sieges as a precondition for their attendance at the January 22 “peace” conference in Geneva. The United Nations has also called on Damascus to allow deliveries of aid.
On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry, meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said he hoped the easing of blockades would prefer the conference. Lavrov said that insurgents must also lift their sieges of regime-held areas.
Video Of Palestinian Man Crying Out About Lack of Aid — With Subtitles
Syria Direct have added English subtitles to this video, which we posted earlier this week, showing a young Palestinian resident of Yarmouk in Damascus as he cries out about the lack of aid supplies reaching the neighborhood.
“By God, we have nothing to do with the two conflicting parties,” the man yells in an Arabic dialect that mixes between Syrian and Palestinian.
UN Abandons Aid Shipment to Yarmouk After Convoy Fired Upon
The United Nations has aborted a delivery of food and polio vaccines to besieged Yarmouk in southern Damascus.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said Damascus authorized a six-truck convoy to deliver food for 6,000 people, 10,000 doses of polio vaccine, and medical supplies to Yarmouk, which has been under regime siege since July 2012.
However, the “required” route to the southern entrance of the neighborhood meant that the convoy had to drive 20 kilometers (12 miles) “through an area of intense and frequent armed conflict, in which numerous armed opposition groups, including some of the most extreme jihadist groups, have a strong and active presence”, according to the UN.
As the convoy passed the southern checkpoint, with its Syrian Government escort sending a bulldozer to clear the road of debris, machine gun fire erupted and a mortar exploded close to the convoy.
No one was wounded in the incident.
Earlier this week, Palestinian organizations tried unsuccessfully to deliver food and supplies to Yarmouk.
About 50 people have reported died of starvation in the area.