Annia Ciezadlo writes: On Feb. 3, the United Nations suspended talks between the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and representatives of the Syrian opposition. The Geneva talks, which were aimed at ending the five-year-old civil war, had bogged down in distrust and regional politics before they even got underway.
The UN mediator, Staffan de Mistura, hinted that the initial round of discussions collapsed because the Syrian regime refused to lift the sieges that are slowly starving hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Assad’s regime has been using starvation as a weapon — technically a war crime, when used against civilians — for the past four years.
As the war has progressed, various rebel factions, like Islamic State and Nusra Front, have also adopted the strategy. But the vast majority of the people under siege in Syria are being starved by their own government. Today, up to a million people are being slowly and deliberately starved to death in the heart of the Fertile Crescent, many of them a stone’s throw away from grain silos full of wheat. [Continue reading…]