Monday, February 3, 2014

SYRIA WAR: Thoughts on "Starvation Until Submission Campaign"

A friend sent me this link about Syria: "People Are Eating Cats: Starvation, Deaths Plague Syria Camps."

In fact, many Syrians have been starving for some time now because the Assad government has been using starvation as a war tactic. Assad supporters refer to this as the Starvation Until Submission Campaign. I quote from Reuters:

"Over one million Syrians are trapped in areas where aid deliveries have stalled, the United Nations says.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report last month that half of those people are in rural Damascus and around 310,000 people more trapped in Homs province in central Syria.

Local doctors said they regularly treat patients for water-borne diseases and that aerial bombardment has damaged the infrastructure, contaminating the water with sewage.

Doctors said that they were observing symptoms of malnutrition such as dehydration, severe weight loss, diarrhea and bloated stomachs.

International (aid) have little access to areas hit by violence. Groups like Save the Children are warning of a potential crisis. The agency released a report last month saying that parts of Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus have been encircled by violence or deliberately besieged.

In a separate development, the World Health Organisation confirmed an outbreak of polio among young children in northeast Syria on Tuesday - a consequence of falling vaccination rates in wartime.

The situation is acute for people living in Mouadamiya, on the southwestern outskirts of the capital Damascus, which has been under siege for a year and suffered from chemical weapons strikes and continuous bombardment.

Unlike East Ghouta, which also endured chemical attacks but is sometimes accessible, Mouadamiya is completely surrounded by the military.

The opposition says 12,000 people face starvation and death in Mouadamiya. About 90 percent of Mouadamiya has been destroyed and few doctors remain, it says."

The small concession the Assad government gave at the Geneva II conference to allow some civilians to leave besieged areas and some aid workers in, is a tiny drop in the bucket. Read the NBC account, People Are Eating Cats...

The very simple fact is this: Assad is not working to help the Syrian people. Like his father, Hafez al-Assad, he will use everything in his power to stay in power, even if he should destroy Syria itself. He has bombed, seiged, used chemical weapons, targeted medical workers and facilities, made deals with Qaeda-ISIL, Iran, and Russia to hang on to power.

But the world is taking note of Assad's war crimes. There is a record of the systematic torture and killing of 11,000 prisoners of the Syrian government; there is a record of how he has destroyed civilian communities to punish the people.  And the use of chemical weapons is another war crime.

"The wheels of justice grind slowly
But they grind finely"

Read also
At Great Risk group gathers evidence of war crimes in Syria
Senators Say Kerry Admitted US failure in Syria
UN report details abuse of children in Syrian War

photo courtesy of The Syrian Revolution 2011

tags: Syria, Syrian, war, revolution, civil war, genocide, Assad, Aleppo, Homs, Damascus, starvation, war crimes

All for now,

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