World Bulletin / News Desk
As the Syrian civil war between Bashar al-Assad’s regime forces and opposition rebels enters its third year, last week’s Geneva II peace talks produced little hope of bringing an end to this war in the near future.
Although the two sides came nowhere near agreeing to ending the war, some agreements were made regarding the lifting of blockades on civilian populations who have been denied access to essential supplies for months.
However, even in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, where thousands of people risk dying of starvation due to a blockade by forces allied to the regime, very little help was distributed before charity workers and civilians came under heavy gunfire. So far, over 90 people have starved to death in the camp, while survivors scavenge for street cats and wild plants to eat.
Homs is another place under siege, with its residents having to access to basic medicines and food aid for 18 months. Twelve United Nations trucks containing aid equipment has been waiting on the outskirts of the city for two weeks as it is denied access by regime forces.
Speaking to Turkey’s daily Yeni Safak, Syrian Turkmen minority coordinator Samir Hafez revealed that aid being sent from Turkey is not reaching the people, who have no choice but to buy essential medicines for 30 times the normal price.
About 12,500 people of both Arab and Turkmen origin are believed to still be in Homs, who according to Hafez are in a very similar situation to the people of Yarmouk.
‘For over a year people who are unable to find food are being left with no choice but to eat cats, rats, weeds and bark to stay alive. Anyone who tries to leave the camp in search for food is shot at by snipers,’ Hafez said.
‘They say that the snipers are German and Serbian citizens,’ he added.
Describing Homs as an ‘open prison’, the Syrian Turkmen leader said that Assad’s regime was determined to cleanse the city of its people and include it in a new ‘Alawite state’ in the future.
Alawites, otherwise known as Nusaryis, are a minority sect in Syria from which regime leader Bashar al-Assad and his allies hail, ruling over a predominantly Sunni Muslim country.
Reflecting on the Geneva II conference, Hafez also expressed his regret that after seven days of negotiating, the two sides were unable to agree on anything besides holding a minute’s silence for the deceased.Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2014, 15:34