Besieged Syrian villages run short of food, medicine
BEIRUT (AP) — Pro-government fighters recently evacuated from two besieged villages in northern Syria described harsh conditions there with scarce food and medicine, saying some residents are eating grass to survive and undergoing surgery without anesthesia.
The villages of Foua and Kfarya in Idlib province have been under siege for more than a year, but the situation has worsened since September. That’s when insurgents captured a nearby air base where helicopters used to take off and drop canned food, vegetables, rice and bread to about 30,000 people in the mostly Shiite area.
“Our life was catastrophic in Foua and Kfarya,” said Hussein Mahdi Kazem, a 16-year-old wounded fighter. He spoke from a bed in Hezbollah’s Rasoul al-Azam Hospital south of Beirut, where he was evacuated last month from Kfarya.
But the two Shiite villages are not alone in their suffering. Both sides in Syria’s nearly 5-year-old conflict have used siege tactics on towns or villages as a way of getting an area under control.
Whatever the political ramifications of this story are, it has been in the news for a few weeks that parts of Syria are indeed suffering from famine or close to it for a lack of food.