Residents of a Syrian town besieged by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces appealed to the world to “save us from death” in an open letter describing desperate conditions and suffering.
Hundreds of men, women and children in Mouadamiya had died and thousands had been wounded, they said.
Mouadamiya, on the southwest outskirts of the capital Damascus, was occupied by anti-Assad rebels last year and the government has been trying to win it back since then. “For nearly one year, the city of Mouadamiya has been under siege with no access to food, electricity, medicine, communications, and fuel,” said the letter, distributed by the opposition Syrian National Council on Monday. “We have been hit by rockets, artillery shells, napalm, white phosphorous, and chemical weapons,” it said. nThe writers, who did not give their names, said they had managed to find enough power to run a computer and connect to the internet to send the letter.
The SNC said nearly 12,000 people face starvation and death in Mouadamiya. About 90 percent of Mouadamiya has been destroyed, few doctors remained, and residents were eating “leaves of trees”.
Reuters cannot confirm reports from the besieged town due to government restrictions. The government says the residents of Mouadamiya are being “held hostage” by terrorists, the term it uses for armed opposition groups. It denies using chemical weapons.
United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said last week that despite the government evacuating 3,000 people this month, thousands more remain trapped inside Mouadamiya. She said that United Nations teams had been denied access.