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Residents of Devastated al-Waer Pray for Break in Siege

Despite a UN-backed truce, residents of the Homs neighborhood continue to suffer from severe food and medicine shortages as well as cuts in most vital services
Residents of Devastated al-Waer Pray for Break in Siege

Humanitarian conditions in the besieged al-Waer neighborhood in Homs city have become tragic following the suspension of the United Nations sponsored local truce deal between the regime and opposition forces three months ago, civil sources said.

Last December, the UN brokered a truce deal in al-Waer to lift the siege and release prisoners as hundreds of rebels evacuated the district for the northern countryside of Homs.

Despite the truce, the neighborhood continues to suffer from cuts in electricity, water, medicine, and food.

Regime Tightens Noose Despite Truce Deal

Local civil activist Abou Faisal told Zaman al-Wasl that all shops in the city have been completely emptied with nothing left in the main market except cleaning materials, parsley and watercress.

Abou Faisal indicated that bread has not entered the neighborhood since March 12, and women in the neighborhood are currently making bread made from wheat, rice, pasta, and dried beans.

He explained how locals bake the bread by burning old wood and toxic plastic rubbish, indicating that a kilo of flour is now being sold on the black market for around 2,000 Syrian pounds ($9) and has run out in most households.

Abou Faisal told Zaman al-Wasl that pro-regime Shiite militias in the nearby neighborhood of Aljazeera 9 deliberately targeted several locations with mortar fire on Monday, some of which fell on the western edges of the neighborhood next to the bakery.

The activist indicated that the pro-regime militias have consistently denied security approval for many UN aid convoys that were supposed to enter al-Waer last Thursday.

Holding the United Nations Responsible

On Monday, the office of the chairman the Local Council of Free Homs directed an urgent call to the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria, Yacoub El Hillo, clarifying the tragic living conditions inside the besieged neighborhood after the regime suspended the UN-backed agreement.

In the statement, the office said that the residents have been forbidden from bringing food, including bread, into the neighborhood for the past 90 days, while regime bombing led to the death of a girl (16) and woman (45), injuring 10 others.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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