Eat cats and dogs, imam tells starving Syrians

The Telegraph reports: An imam in a rebel-held district of Damascus has issued a fatwa allowing residents to eat cats and dogs, in a desperate bid to ward off starvation after months under siege by the Assad regime.

Salah al-Khatib, the cleric who issued the edict, said he had been left with no choice but to lift the usual restrictions under Islamic law, after government forces and pro-regime militias choked off food and medical supplies to three rebel-held suburbs of Damascus and to a camp housing Palestinian refugees.

This is “not because it is religiously permitted, but because it is a reflection of the reality we are suffering”, Mr Khatib told AFP on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in these areas, some of them living under siege for more than a year. Residents have told The Telegraph that as food has run out, they have been forced in recent weeks to survive on stray dogs, rotting animal carcasses, tree leaves and weeds.

“I have watched the poorer families eat stray dogs because they have nothing else,” said Ehab, a resident of the Yarmouk camp, speaking to The Telegraph via Skype. “There is no food here now.” [Continue reading…]

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