More than 250 thousand civilians are caught between Assad’s forces and Daesh since the capturing of the province of Deir Ezzor by the latter in the year of 2014.
The organization has laid a siege to the regime-held neighborhoods of Deir Ezzor city, cutting off all supply routes and blocking access to goods and medical supplies from entering into the besieged areas. Assad’s forces are also taking the advantage of the situation by turning civilians into human shields and preventing them from traveling using the Deir Ezzor Military Airport, which is the only means that enables the trapped civilians to escape the siege. Paying sky-high amounts of money to some regime’s officers has become the only means the wretched civilian can use to flee hell in besieged Deir Ezzor.
The reality of the siege
After cutting off all land and river routes, as well as the desert ones, leading to the neighborhoods in Deir Ezzor that are under the control of the regime, and rendering the water plant in Al-Juneinah inoperable, the organization tightened the pressure on the regime’s forces. On the other hand, Daesh considers civilians residing in the regime-run areas of Deir Ezzor as apostates who should be punished for remaining in those areas.
According to testimonies by some activists, the Assad regime is the less affected from the siege, as fuel, weapons, ammunition and food shipments are being airdropped over their controlled areas regularly. Assad’s forces operating in the Deir Ezzor Military Airport are also negotiating with Daesh the entry of crude oil from the organization held areas in Deir Ezzor to the regime-run territory.
Children, hunger and the siege
The civilian situation has reached an alarming level. There is a sharp shortage of medical and food supplies and the markets are devoid of all kinds of necessary items. Some regime-linked merchants are monopolizing the goods and manipulating their prices, meaning that only a section, of those residing in the besieged area, which benefits from them. Hunger is dominant and children health is unstable, which led to the death of several children so far.
Names of some of the children who died of hunger in besieged Deir Ezzor:
- The 11-years-old child Ali Jassem Al-Kayssom who died due to the lack of food and medical supplies
- The child Oqab Saqr Al-Arifi who died due to the lack of milk.
- The two-months-old child Rafif Mahmod Al-Fanoush, died due to malnutrition
- The child Ranim Alosh who died due to malnutrition and lack of medical care.
There are still several children struggling for survival in besieged Deir Ezzzor. Their parents are feeding them with sugar and water as an alternative for milk.
Health care in besieged Deir Ezzor
Health care in besieged Deir Ezzor is experiencing lack of medical staff, as many of them have fled to Damascus. Pharmacies also suffer a lack of medical supplies that most of them are devoid of all important medicines. This has led to the emergence of several deseases among the trapped civilians, including leishmaniosis which mainly occurred in the Harabish and the Jafra neighborhoods. Around 1 thousand civilians are suffering from this deasese, and there are no medical treatment for it in the besieged areas.
All appeals to save the trapped civilians in besieged Deir Ezzor were to no avail. Even the initiatives and media campaigns, which have been launched by activists from Deir Ezzor, have been ignored. Families in Deir Ezzor are left along facing hunger, diseases and siege.