Old tactics for new wars. In Syria, some combatants are finding it easier to starve their enemies than to shoot or bomb them. It's a phenomenon becoming more widespread in certain cities, where life is more like World War II than the 21st century.
This footage comes from Madaya, some 25 kilometers from Damascus. The city is under siege by government troops, and 30 people have already died from starvation just in this area alone. But it isn't only government troops who engage in these tactics. Humanitarian organizations have also denounced similar moves carried out by rebels in Northern Syria.
Until humanitarian convoys arrived, people had resorted to eating leaves. That's because they had already ate dog meat and spices mixed with water.
World Food Programme Officer
"The food security situation is terrible in the area, since the city is besieged, food items are not available, the market is not functioning and really, people need for food assistance.”
"People with no electricity are burning shoes and plastic bags to keep warm, people are in the street looking for food in trash.”
The assistance came in the form of food, medicine, and basic necessities like bed sheets.
It's possible others live in even worse conditions. According to the United Nations, 4.5 million Syrians live in "difficult to reach” areas controlled by various militias. It makes it hard to know exactly what conditions the civilian population faces there.