The Syrian regime told the UN Friday that “no one cares more than [Syrian] President Bashaar Al-Assad about the Syrian people”, a day after the UN accused both the regime and the opposition of committing war crimes by starving civilians.
The UN Security Council held a meeting Thursday to discuss the siege of 400,000 people in Syria. It said half of them are inside areas controls by “Islamic State” (IS), while 180,000 are in areas controlled by the Syrian regime, and the rest are in areas controlled by other militant groups.
This meeting was the second after several photos came out from the city of Madaya, Syria, which is besieged by governmental forces and showed deterioration of humanitarian situations.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) confirmed the death of 35 people of starvation in Madaya. “This is shocking; patients are still dying despite the arrival of two big international humanitarian convoys,” MSF Director of Operations Brice de le Vingne said. “Some of the current patients may not survive another day.”
“Medical evacuations for the most critically sick and malnourished need to happen immediately and it is hard to understand why patients clinging on to life have not already been evacuated. Nothing should be allowed hold this up and everything possible should be done by the warring parties and the agencies involved in the convoys to expedite these evacuations as a life-saving humanitarian act,” Vingne said.
Deputy Syrian Ambassador to the UN Monzer Monzer said no one can pretend that they care for the Syrian people more than Syrian regime, “especially when it comes to providing aid to areas controlled by terrorists”.
The first nutritional aids arrived in Madaya for the first time on Monday after the citizens went for months without any food sources. The UN confirmed several cases of severe malnutrition cases among the children.
Another package of nutritional aid was delivered to the villages of Kufria and Alfo’a, which are controlled by the government and besieged by the opposition.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accused both the government and the opposition of violations against civilians in Syria, including starving them. According to the UN, approximately 250,000 people were killed in Syria since the beginning of the civil war, 7.6 million citizens are internally displaced, and 13.5 million of all Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid.