THE TRUCE HURTS: The Red Crescent distributed food aid to the formerly opposition-controlled town of Yelda in southern Damascus on Wednesday for the second time this month as civilians there still face bombardment and shortages despite a truce signed with the regime nearly a year ago.
“This installment consists of around 1,000 food baskets, while the first batch, also of 1,000 baskets, entered 10 days ago,” Walid al-Agha, a citizen journalist in southern Damascus, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
Yelda, along with the adjacent towns of Babila and Beit Sahem, agreed to truces with the regime after being encircled by government forces for months. The three towns form a line next to the strategic highway to Damascus International Airport.
“By signing a truce with the regime, the revolutionaries in Babila, Yelda and Beit Sahem aimed to end the siege on the area, especially after nearly 200 people died due to starvation and lack of medicine during the siege,” al-Agha said.
Humanitarian NGO’s are periodically allowed into the towns, but permission to do so still depends on the Syrian government’s acquiescence.
The three towns have also been by plagued by the presence of Jabhat a-Nusra and other Islamist groups, which the regime has cited as reason for attacking the towns.
Despite the food deliveries, residents still face a severe shortage of food and medical supplies.
Two babies reportedly died on Sunday in Babila due to malnutrition and poor medical care, according the Local Coordination Committee for Yelda on its Facebook page.
-January 22, 2015
-Photo courtesy of Lens young Yeldani
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