Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2016
Syrians Starve to Death in the Cities of Madhaya, Kafria, and Al-Foua'a Besieged by Rival Forces, Scores Killed in All Provinces
January 7, 2016
The lives of 40,000 people in Madhaya city are at risk after 174 days of strict siege
SOHR, January 7, 2015
People of Madhaya city are still starving to death since 174 days due to the strict siege by regime forces and Hezbollah, the city contains 40,000 people including 20,000 civilians who fled their houses in Zabdhani which witnessed violent clashes and heavy bombardment by regime forces and air forces.
SOHR observed hundreds of landmines planted by Hezbollah and al-Assad forces around Madhaya city in addition to cutting the city off the surrounding areas by barbed wires and high wires to prevent any stealing in or out operations, the city contains 1200 chronic medical conditions, and 300 children suffering malnutrition and different medical conditions, amid sharp lack of medical and food supplies what caused a dramatic rise in the prices of food supplies, 1 kg of sugar or rice costs 3600 SP which is about 90 USD, SOHR documented the death of 17 civilians including women and children due to the lack of food and medicine, or by landmines, and snipers during attempts to gather food around the town.
Reliable sources in the city also reported to SOHR that 5 families fled Madhaya city during the past 2 days after paying an amount of money for soldiers in regime forces or Hezbollah, while a number of rebels from the city turned themselves in to the regime for letting their families leave the city.
Regime forces and Hezbollah is using Madhaya as a pushing card to break the siege of Kafria and al-Fouaa towns which are inhabited by Shia in Idlib countryside and contain 5000 militants allied to the regime, NDF, and Hezbollah, after the failure to use al-Zabdani as a first card, The regime refused all the mediations to set Madhaya free, in the return 120 rebels will leave the city.
Residents in besieged Syrian villages eat grass to survive
Arab News, January 7, 2016
Pro-government fighters recently evacuated from two besieged villages in northern Syria described harsh conditions there with scarce food and medicine, saying some residents are eating grass to survive and undergoing surgery without anesthesia.
The villages of Foua and Kfarya in Idlib province have been under siege for more than a year, but the situation has worsened since September. That’s when insurgents captured a nearby air base where helicopters used to take off and drop canned food, vegetables, rice and bread to about 30,000 people in the mostly Shiite area.
“Our life was catastrophic in Foua and Kfarya,” said Hussein Mahdi Kazem, a 16-year-old wounded fighter. He spoke from a bed in Hezbollah’s Rasoul Al-Azam Hospital south of Beirut, where he was evacuated last month from Kfarya.
But the two Shiite villages are not alone in their suffering. Both sides in Syria’s nearly 5-year-old conflict have used siege tactics on towns or villages as a way of getting an area under control.
In retaliation for the siege of the Shiite villages, opposition activists say Syrian troops and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group have taken harsh measures against a Sunni area of Syria of about 40,000 people near the Lebanese border.
The mountain border town of Madhaya has been besieged since early July, and conditions have worsened with colder weather and dwindling supplies. A snowstorm hit early in the new year, and there has been no electricity or diesel fuel.
People have taken to removing interior doors in their homes and burning them for heat, said a local official who identified himself as Samir Ali. He told The Associated Press via Skype that the cost of goods has soared, with a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of crushed wheat selling for about $250 and 900 grams (31 ounces) of powdered milk for infants going for about $300. A group of people recently killed a dog and ate it, he said.
Of 23 deaths in Madhaya in recent weeks, 10 were attributed to a lack of food and the rest were either shot to death or blown up by mines planted by pro-government and Hezbollah forces, said Rami Abdurrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group. At least 25 checkpoints prevent people from leaving, Ali said.
A Facebook page describing conditions in Madhaya posted photos of several older men who it said had starved to death. The photos could not be independently confirmed.
It’s not known how many people died in Foua and Kfarya. The evacuated fighters described how people who need medication in the two villages often must take drugs that are expired, and that mothers must crush grains of rice — when available — and boil the mixture to make baby food.
Pawl Krzysiek, a Syria-based spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the situation in the villages of Foua, Kfarya and Madhaya “is extremely dire, and winter is making things even more difficult for them.”
“For far too long, people were left without basic necessities such as food and medicine,” Krzysiek said. “It is the ICRC’s utmost priority to deliver in the coming days to people there.”
He said ICRC is coordinating the aid to the villages but refused to give further details.
The main Western-backed Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, called on the UN and the international community to allow aid into Madaya, warning that any delay “will lead to more deaths among innocent civilians.”
“Children, women and elderly are dying as a result of hunger and cold,” said coalition member Salah Hamawi.
But UN efforts to take in food often get disrupted by either insurgents or pro-government fighters, the Observatory said.
A UN-backed deal led to the Dec. 28 evacuation of more than 450 people from two war zones in Syria, including 338 people from the two northern villages and 125 people from the Zabadani area near the border with Lebanon.
Madhaya, which is near Zabadani, was not part of the evacuation deal, but food was supposed to go in.
In October, the UN said it had mistakenly sent hundreds of boxes of expired nutrition biscuits to besieged civilians in Zabadani and Madaya.
Yacoub El Hillo, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria, said in a statement that human error during the loading process caused the mistake.
Ali, the local official in Madaya, said some people got sick after eating the biscuits. He added that residents were promised more supplies, but nothing has been delivered since then.
In all three besieged areas, residents used to rely on troops or insurgents to bring them food at inflated prices, but the smuggling has recently dropped sharply.
Moamen Haj Ali, another wounded Shiite fighter being treated in
Beirut, said water is running out in Foua and Kfarya because of a lack
of diesel fuel for pumping stations.
Clashes in the countryside of Al-Quneitra and more casualties in the clashes at Sheikh Meskin
SOHR, January 6, 2016
It rose to three the number of fighters from the rebel and Islamic Factions who were killed during clashes against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them in the town of Sheikh Meskin and its surroundings in the countryside of Daraa.
Clashes by heavy machineguns took place between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the rebel and Islamic Factions in the vicinity of the town of al-Hamidiyyeh in the mid-sector countryside of Al-Quneitra, no information about casualties so far.
Bombing al-Marj in the Eastern Ghouta and clashes on the highway of Damascus–Homs and the factions target the regime forces
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Rif Dimashq Province:
A person was killed by a sniper from the regime forces in the town of Zabadani, while clashes continue between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against Islamic factions in the vicinity of al-Biruni hospital area and Aalya Farms in the vicinity of Harasta in the Eastern Ghouta, amid targeting by the factions for an armored vehicles belong to the regime forces in the area of the international highway of Damascus–Homs near Harasta which damaged it and information about casualties in the ranks of the regime forces, the regime forces also bombed places in al-Marj area in the Eastern Ghouta, no information about casualties.
The Islamic factions targeted a machinegun for the regime forces in the vicinity of Jobar neighborhood at the outskirts of the capital which destroyed it and information about casualties in the ranks of the regime forces.
The regime forces bomb Sahl al-Ghab and clashes in the northern countryside of Homs and west of Palmyra
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Hama Province: The regime forces shelled areas in the villages of al-Qahera and Sirmaniyah in Sahl al-Ghab in the northwestern countryside of Hama, no information about injuries.
Cashes renewed in the vicinity of al-Doweh area in the eastern countryside of Homs between the “Islamic state” against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, and information about casualties in the ranks of both parties, also clashes took place between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the rebel and Islamic Factions in the vicinity of the city of Talbiseh amid opening fire of heavy machineguns by both sides on the clashing areas, no information about casualties.
A member from the regime forces was killed during clashes against the rebel and Islamic Factions in the countryside of Aleppo.
Tens of shells land on regime controlled areas in the city of Aleppo cause casualties
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Aleppo Province: A citizen woman at least was killed and others were injured (and preliminary information about other casualties) when shells launched by the rebel and Islamic Factions and landed on the vicinity of al-Adham Mosque area in the neighborhood of al-Seryan al-Jadidah in Aleppo city.
The death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, where the rebel and Islamic Factions targeted using tens of shells areas in the neighborhoods of al-Seryan al-Jadidah, al-Ashrafieh and Teshreen Street in Aleppo.
A child was killed and his mother and brother were wounded in the bombing by warplanes believed to be Russian on areas in the town Maskanah in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, while the rebel and Islamic Factions targeted positions for the regime forces in Khan Tuman area in the southern countryside of Aleppo, which led to the deaths of several members of the regime forces.
SDF clashes against rebels and advance in Aleppo countryside
SOHR, January 4, 2016
Warplanes raided Menbej city,and the villages of al-Alqamia, and al-Malkia which are taken over by IS, no reports of losses. IS detonated a suicide car around Kweres military airport, reports of losses in regime forces. Clashes took place after midnight between SDF and rebels around Tishrin dam, reports of advances for SDF in the area amid aerial bombardment by Russian warplanes on A’zaz and Kashtaar. Areas of Der Hafir, al-Bab city and Mare’ were exposed to aerial bombardment what caused material damages.
Ongoing clashes and shelling by warplane in the vicinity of Teshreen Dam on the Euphrates River
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Clashes continue between The Syrian Democratic Forces against the “Islamic state” organization in the vicinity of Teshreen Dam area on the Euphrates River in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo after an attack by ISIS members from two areas, the sources said that the organization used boats in the attack to infiltrate to areas near the dam, and the clashes accompanied by bombing by warplanes believed to be for the International Coalition on the clashing areas, no information about casualties.
Warplanes kill 3 on the outskirts of Al-Raqqah city and the “Islamic State” organization close Internet cafes in al-Bokamal and in other areas in the countryside of Deir Ezzor
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Al-Raqqah Province: The activists of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights were informed that three people were killed by the warplanes’ bombing yesterday on places in the water Foundation area in Al-Raqqah, the main stronghold for the organization in Syria, and reliable sources confirmed to the activists of the Observatory that the three were an employee of the organization and two building guards.
Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes bombed places in the factories area at the northern outskirts of Deir Ezzor city, no information about injuries, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the “Islamic state” closed all internet café in the city of al-Bokamal and its countryside and towns of Hajin and al-Sha’af until further notice, without giving reasons for this, while a man from the city of Deir Ezzor was killed under torture in Syrian security detention after being arrested for nearly two years.
9 killed in the shells which targeted the capital Damascus today
SOHR, January 6, 2016
Damascus Province: It rose to 9 the number of people who were killed after several rocket shells landed on areas in the streets of Baghdad and Al-Abed and on other areas in the capital, the death toll is expected to rise because there are about 30 injured people and some of them are in critical situation.
Tens of shells and intensive aerial bombardment on southwestern of Aleppo city and raids on Saraqeb
SOHR, January 6, 2016
The regime forces launched tens of shells on places Khan al-Asal village and the areas of Khan al-Asal Mills, al-Rashedin and al-Klriyah in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo, amid airstrikes by warplanes believed to be Russian on places in Khan al-Asal area and the Farms of Kafrnaha and al-Rashedin area in the western countryside of Aleppo which damaged proprieties, while more shells launched by the rebel and Islamic Factions landed on areas in the neighborhoods of al-Ashrafieh and al-Seryan al-Jadidah, which caused injuries but no information about casualties.
Warplanes believed to be Russian carried out airstrikes on areas in the town of Saraqeb in the eastern countryside of Idlib, no information about injuries.
3 casualties in the aerial bombing on Nawa and 4 others in landmine explosion in Tasil and clashes in the countryside of Al-Hasakah
January 6, 2016
Three people were killed a others were wounded when warplanes believed to be Russian bombed areas in the city of Nawa, while four other people (including a woman) were killed in a landmine explosion in Tasil town in the countryside of Daraa, while a person from the town of Ghabagheb in the northern countryside of Daraa died under torture in the prisons of the regime forces, the regime forces also launched more shells on areas in the town of Abtaa in the countryside of Daraa, also fighters from the rebel factions were killed during clashes against the regime forces in the town of Sheikh Meskin and its surroundings, while warplanes believed to be Russian carried out airstrikes on areas in the town of Sheikh Meskin in the countryside of Daraa.
An officer from the regime forces was killed during clashes against the rebel and Islamic Factions in the town of Sheikh Meskin and its surroundings in the countryside of Daraa.
Al-Hasaka Province: Cashes took place between the “Islamic State” against The Syrian Democratic Forces in the vicinity of villages in al-Makhroum area in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakah, amid of information about casualties in the ranks of both parties.
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