Children dying in Syria’s ‘town of the starving,’ resident tells Amnesty

Living conditions are getting tougher for Syrian children of Moadamiya al-Sham

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Children of a Syrian town that has been under siege by regime forces for the past year are dying of starvation, a resident of Moadamiya al-Sham told Amnesty International.

“No food or medical supplies have entered the town, leaving it totally isolated from the outside world. No one enters or leaves Moadamiya, which is now being referred to as ‘the town of the starving’,” Amnesty quoted the unnamed resident as saying.

Mothers often wake up at dawn to search for food for their children, he added.

“On one of those days of extreme hunger, I went into one of the homes only to see one of the mothers and her children with their faces pale with hunger. They had not eaten at all for two days and had no food in the house. They had not seen bread for six months,” he said.

“The same circumstances prevailed all over town - elsewhere, people were fighting over some vegetables planted by their father. He had died during an air force raid on the town nearly a month ago,” he added.

The resident said he saw a group of children searching garbage bins for anything to eat, but people have stopped throwing away their leftovers.

He said a former weightlifter, who has become very thin, sent a message to his mother, who has left Moadamiya, asking her to “pray for me to bear this hunger.”

The resident added: “In another house we found a group of youth sitting silently. When asked about their silence one of them replied: ‘We have not eaten for two days... There is nothing to eat. So we sit in silence, since talking uses up calories that one needs and cannot be replaced’.”

The resident said Moadamiya’s children have learnt to differentiate between the flavors of different tree leaves.

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