Starvation Hits Besieged Cities in Syria
There are continuing calls for a political solution to end the crisis in Syria, as the humanitarian situation is getting worse and more people are dying every day.
In her remarks in New York City, Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said the United States remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria especially in the 15 besieged areas – and in any place where Syrians are suffering and, in some cases dying, for lack of access to assistance.
She said the Syrian regime has besieged 12 of those 15 areas, and its callousness is evident in harrowing images – and there have been at least 35 deaths from starvation since the beginning of December.
“Though the regime is not alone: ISIL and certain armed opposition groups are also engaging in this barbaric method of warfare.” – Ambassador Power
Videos of Syrian People in Madaya Stir Outrage
As videos circulated online showing emaciated children pleading for help in Madaya, the United Nations made an appeal for humanitarian access to the town.
According to media reports, around 42,000 people have been trapped amid ongoing fighting in Madaya.
The people in the mountain town have little access to food and harsh winter weather has made conditions worse.
Reports say people are dying from starvation, while others have been killed trying to leave Madaya. The area has been under siege by Assad forces since last year. And to make things worse, there is no longer electricity or diesel fuel left in the town.
Ban Ki-Moon on the Syrian Crisis: “Utterly Unconscionable”
To stop the suffering of the Syrian people, Ambassador Power urged the Syrian regime to immediately comply with obligations under international humanitarian law and allow immediate, unconditional and unfettered access to humanitarian assistance by all those in need in Syria.
“The United Nations, relief agencies and the larger international community should not accept access on a piecemeal basis.” – Ambassador Power
Political solution vital to end the crisis
According to Ambassador Power, the only way to fully address the humanitarian situation in Syria is through a political solution as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
“We fully support Special Envoy de Mistura in leading the efforts toward the negotiations outlined in this resolution.” – Ambassador Power
She added that the call for a political solution to end the turmoil in Syria is being supported by the International Syria Support Group and the UN Security Council have given their full support to a political transition.
However, Ambassador Power underlined that a political solution cannot include a role for President Bashar al Assad, who has lost the ability and credibility to govern the Syrian people.
Non-Stop Horror in Syria
There have been four and a half years of nonstop horror in Syria.
It has been estimated that 80 percent of the electricity has been knocked out, plunging much of the country literally into darkness.
The crisis has been made worse due to the involvement of regional actors particularly Iran and Hezbollah, which intervened on behalf of Assad, and the foreign terrorist fighters who have joined Daesh and other terrorist groups.
And now, because the US tried to run a war remotely, Russia has moved in, complicating things much more.