Russian airstrikes leave ‘thousands facing starvation’ in rebel-held Aleppo

The Observer reports: The most senior civic leader in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo has condemned the west for failing to stop Russian airstrikes cutting off the city and warned of a disastrous humanitarian crisis within weeks.

A fortnight after President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, with Russian air support, cut the only road into rebel-held Aleppo, it is claimed a water shortage is affecting hospitals. Brita Haji Hasan, leader of the Aleppo city council, said that the situation was deteriorating rapidly and that he believed the rebel-held areas could only hold out for “two to three months” before people started to die in their thousands.

“We have reserves, stores, but Aleppo is home to 326,000 people who are besieged,” Haji Hasan said. “It is not a small city, it is an industrial city. We can keep going for two to three months, but then people will starve in large numbers. We are facing a major humanitarian crisis and nobody is helping us. Everyone is just watching. Most of the civilians already dying now are women and children.”

The head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Syria, Marianne Gasser, told the Observer that the effects of the siege were already beginning to show in Aleppo’s remaining hospitals. [Continue reading…]

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