Assad Regime, Hezbollah Starving Madaya Town To Death, International Community Watching Death...

Assad Regime, Hezbollah Starving Madaya Town To Death, International Community Watching Death Drama


[symple_box] ahmed mohiuddin siddiquiInternational columnist, political analyst and senior journalist Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui’s articles are published across Asia, Africa and Europe. He writes for The Moroccan Times, The Tunis Times, India Tomorrow, Kohram NewsThe Etemaad Urdu Daily and for news papers published from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. You can follow him on Twitter at: @journopolana[/symple_box]

At least 23 people have died of hunger in the besieged Syrian town of  Madaya and more than 40,000 are at risk of starvation. The aid agencies and activists in the region are demanding government forces to allow access for supplies. The United Nations (UN) has just been able to seek the go ahead from the heartless Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad to take in the relief supplies for the starving and dying people of Madaya.

Children forced to eating leaves to survive in Madaya, Syria.
Children forced to eating leaves to survive in Madaya, Syria.

The international organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for urgent relief in Madaya. The town near the Lebanese border in the mountainous countryside north-west of Syria’s capital Damascus is fighting starvation amidst the tyranny of the Assad regime and the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

The MSF says 23 people have died of starvation at its clinic in Madaya. Madaya is one of the many towns where President Bashar AlAssad’s forces have used siege tactics to weaken territories controlled by rebels fighting to oust him from power.

The siuation in Madaya is becoming bad to worse. “Madaya is now effectively an open air prison for an estimated 20,000 people, including infants, children and elderly. There is no way in or out, leaving people to die,” said Brice de le Vingne, director of operations for MSF. Actually, the number is more than 40,000.

The UN has released its own statement calling for more access to some 400,000 Syrians living in besieged or hard-to-reach areas. The UN said on Thursday the government agreed to allow them access to Madaya in the coming days. By the time food supplies reach Madaya, there may be a big tragedy.

The merciful Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) said: ‘Greeting (Saying Assalamalaikum) and feeding people is the best Islam.’ Both Assad and Hezbollah claim themselves to be Muslims and they are starving thousands of people to death. Are they Muslims?

In the past week, Syrian activists have been distributing pictures of skeletal children and elderly men emaciated by hunger, families cooking leaves and men scrounging through rubbish for food on the social media.  Though it is not possible to verify the photographs, but MSF says the starvation victims it has treated were of all ages. This has increased its concern that every resident is at risk. The MSF said its medics in the Madaya town have been feeding children medical syrups. “They are the only source of sugar and energy,” it said. It has warned that medical supplies were being used up more quickly as well.

Many activists are sceptical of UN promises that it will be able to access Madaya soon. “The UN is amazing. It feels like they are like a retirement home, except even a retirement home has more vigour than they do,” said Youssef  Al Bustani, who lives in the besieged countryside east of Damascus. “They’re waiting for the regime’s permission to feed children starving under siege?”

Assad’s forces first used the siege tactic in 2012. Since then, it has been  increasingly deployed by him and Hezbollah in the 5-year civil war try to starve out opponents to surrender or die. Terrorists from the evil (Un)Islamic State or  ISIS are holding a regime-held part of eastern Deir Ezzor city under siege. The rebel groups have long surrounded four regime-held towns in northwestern Aleppo and Idlib. The regime has been able to send in some supplies to its besieged areas through airdrops at regular intervals, something which the rebels are unable to do.

The pro-Assad forces have blockaded the eastern countryside outside Damascus for years, as well as rebel-held pockets in Homs city and Alleppo. Many rebels finally surrendered in exchange for the entrance of aid and the transfer of rebels out of the area recently. Madaya residents are forced to eat leaves, cats and dogs to survive.

Madaya’s slow poison death by Assad: Starved to death for no fault!
Madaya’s slow poison death by Assad: Starved to death for no fault!

According to the UN, there are 42,000 people in Madaya today. Madaya and the nearby town of Zabadani were part of a recently agreed ceasefire that would see rebels moved out of the area to Turkey. Meanwhile,  government loyalists would leave the rebel-blockaded towns of Kefraya and al-Fuaa in north-west Idlib. The agreement said food and supplies would be allowed into the areas. But, the last aid convoy entered Madaya in October 2015. The Syrian activists have posted a photograph of the slogan “Kneel or starve” written on a wall. This is on the outskirts of Madaya. It is claimed that it was a message to them from Assad forces and the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah, which are heavily involved in killing operations there.

The international community is, as usual, watching the drama of death in Madaya. Empty slogans would not save the people of Madaya town but a decisive will and action.

Give a thought to the starving children, women and the elderly of Madaya, when you sit down for a meal. The least you can do is to pray for them. Dua’a (prayer) is the greatest weapon with a very positive potential. Lend a helping morsel of food if you can, so that precious human lives can be saved. Part with a Dirham or Dollar too, before it is too late for Madaya residents.