syrian towns under siege by the forces of bashar
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Syrian towns under siege By the forces of Bashar

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Arab Today, arab today Syrian towns under siege By the forces of Bashar

Syrian pro-government forces take part in an operation
Beirut - Arab Today

Numerous towns in Syria, where nearly a million people live, are currently besieged, mainly by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad's regime but also by rebels and jihadists.

Assad is accused of resorting to sieges to force rebels to lay down their arms in Syria's devastating more than five-year conflict.

The UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien said Monday the number of people living under siege in Syria more than doubled in six months to 974,080 on November 1.

O'Brien said new areas had come under siege, including a district in Damascus and many locations in the Eastern Ghouta region of rural Damascus.

According to the UN, Jobar, a east Damascus district, as well as Hajar al-Aswad and Khan al-Shih, to the south of the capital, have been added to the list.

On October 5 the UN said the rebel-held east of Syria's Aleppo had been declared a "besieged area", following a months-long government offensive and a lack of access for aid workers.

- Besieged by the regime -

- EAST ALEPPO: More than 275,000 people are trapped in the rebel-held east of the northern city, under a government siege.

Government forces have pounded east Aleppo with air strikes, barrel bombs and artillery fire since Tuesday, in the latest phase of an operation the army, backed by its Russian ally, announced in late September.

- MADAYA: more than 40,000 people have been under siege in Madaya for the past two years, with the town under a total siege since mid-2015.

It became infamous in late 2015 after more than 60 people starved there, according to non-governmental organisations.

The town has become a symbol of those in agony under the siege and four deliveries of humanitarian aid have not sufficed to put it out of its misery.

- MOADAMIYEH AL-SHAM: A rebel town southwest of Damascus, Moadamiyeh al-Sham was listed as under siege by the UN in January, after the regime imposed new restrictions which led to new food shortages. More than 40,000 people are besieged there. On October 19 some 620 rebels and their families started to evacuate the town under an accord struck with the government.

Other rebel-controlled towns are also surrounded in Damascus province, such as Zabadani. Many localities in the Eastern Ghouta area have been grouped into five zones in the UN report: Douma, Erbin, Harasta, Kafr Batna, and Nashabiyah.

- Towns surrounded by rebels - 

- FOUA and KAFRAYA: The two Shiite pro-regime towns in northwestern Idlib province are under siege by Islamist rebels.

The rebels are seeking to link the fate of the two towns to those of Zabadani and Madaya, demanding that aid destined for loyalist villages should also go to these two rebel-held towns.

In April, 2016, 250 inhabitants of Madaya and Zabadani and an equal number from Foua and Kafraya were evacuated. The evacuations went side by side with a delivery of humanitarian aid to these towns. On August 19, 18 civilians were evacuated from Madaya and the same number from Foua and Kafraya. And on September 25 aid was delivered for the first time in six months to these four besieged areas.

In early February, government forces, backed by Russian air power, managed to break through the siege imposed for the past three years by Islamist rebels on the Shiite towns of Nubol and Zahraa in the northern province of Aleppo.

- Under siege by the IS -

- DEIR EZZOR: The jihadist Islamic State group has since January 2015 besieged the eastern city of Deir Ezzor where more than 200,000 people live.

The IS controls more than 60 percent of the city, the capital of the province of the same name, most of which is in its hands.

The World Food Programme has been carrying out food drops over the city.

The government has also managed to deliver aid to besieged towns that it controls by air drops. Rebels do not have access to aircraft.

Source: AFP

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