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The New Arab

Aid distribution in Syria's Daraya disrupted by barrel bombs

Food was delivered to Daraya on Thursday before barrel bombing ensued [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 June, 2016

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Aid distribution in besieged Daraya near Damascus is being hampered by relentless regime bombing of the city.
The distribution of aid in besieged Daraya is being hampered by intense shelling of the city, according to residents.

The UN finally facilitated the entry of aid into the city on Thursday, as pro-regime militias continue to attempt to encroach on the city, but the city was bombed shortly afterwards.  

"We could only distribute limited aid to civilians on Saturday due to the intensity of missile and airstrikes that targeted the city," said member of Daraya City Council, Fadi Mohammed.

"The regime is targeting the city with dozens of explosive barrel bombs on a daily basis, in addition to the ground campaign involving heavy machine guns and mortars."

Mohammed said that that more than 160 barrel bombs had targeted the area since Thursday.  

He also noted that a state of fear and panic was felt by civilians due to the "unprecedented shelling," noting that many had left their homes or were confined to shelters.    

A spokesman for the local council expressed dissapointment at the amount of aid that entered the city, meanwhile, noting that it was enough for the needs of only 2000 while the city had a population of 8000.

A convoy of nine trucks carrying aid entered Daraya last Thursday, the first of its kind since regime forces imposed a siege on the city in 2012.

According to the UN, there are currently 592,700 people living under siege in Syria. The vast majority of this number - some 452,700 people - are being besieged by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In January, the regime's siege of Madaya saw dozens die of starvation with mounting public pressure forcing the UN aid to act.

Aid deliveries to the suburb have taken place, but the amounts delivered have been short of what residents say is needed to sustain life.

Since then, others have died - particularly infants - from starvation and hunger-related issues.

Desperate residents in some besieged areas have been forced to eat dogs or cook soups made from leaves and tree bark - with no nutritional value - to stave off hunger.

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