DAMASCUS, Jan 07: At least 23 reported dead and hundreds malnourished in the besieged town of Madaya outside Damascus, says an Al Jazeera report.
Abu Abdul Rahman has not eaten in four days. Hungry and weakened, Rahman and his family have been trying to limit their movements inside their house in the Syrian town of Madaya, fearing that any activity would drain the little energy left in their bodies.
“There are no more cats or dogs alive in the town. Even tree leaves that we have been eating have become scarce,” he tells Al Jazeera’s Ali Saad over the phone.
Residents of Madaya, about 25 kilometres north-west of Damascus, are suffering from severe malnutrition and have little access to fuel and medical supplies due to the siege imposed by President Bashar al-Assad’s troops since July.
The Red Cross says that people in the town are heating plastic to keep themselves warm.
And as days pass by, Rahman says he has little hope he and his family can stay alive.
“Describing the situation as tragic is merely airbrushing reality on the ground,” he tells in a subdued voice.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday said that at least 23 people, including children, had died in rebel-held Madaya because of the siege and mines laid around the town by Assad’s forces, who are backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah.