In the streets of the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Darayya, where more than 800 barrel bombs fell last month alone, “the sight of amputees is a common one these days,” local activist Muhanad Abu Zein told Syria Direct on Monday.
While no exact number of amputees is available among the remaining population of up to 12,000 people, one local journalist said that the usual stigmas of the disabled in the Arab world do not apply in Darayya.
“We are all brothers in this city and in our eyes there is no difference between someone who has lost a limb and someone else who is completely healthy,” said citizen journalist Majid Darayya.
“Don’t forget that we are all living under the same siege and the same bombardments, any one of us could be that amputee tomorrow,” adds the activist.
The bombardment of Darayya, located southeast of Damascus in West Ghouta, has been relentless in recent weeks, with local activists reporting that more than 800 barrel bombs fell on the city during the month of November alone.
The “common” sight of residents missing one or more limbs could have been avoided, says one Darayya doctor.
“There are no vascular surgeons, who play a key role in operations on critically injured limbs, in the entire area,” says Darayya-based general physician Omar Hakim.
A lack of equipment and specialized doctors necessary for the primary treatment of injured limbs is causing doctors to resort to amputations, even in cases where the patient’s limbs could be saved, Hakim said.
“A scarcity of sutures used in vascular surgeries means that these types of operations would be impossible anyway.”