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Nine-month-old baby dies from malnourishment under brutal Assad siege in Eastern Ghouta

Fifteen residents, including five children, have died of malnutrition in Eastern Ghouta [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 December, 2017

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Malnutrition has killed 15 residents, including five children, in Eastern Ghouta, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has surrounded around 400,000 people.
A malnourished baby died in the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus on Thursday, one of the few remaining opposition-held areas in war-torn Syria.

"A nine-month old boy named Hussain Mekdeh died on Thursday in Ghouta due to malnutrition," said Mohammed Kuttoub, a member of the Syrian Arab Medical Society. "The regime prevented him from receiving treatment."

The Syrian regime has been besieging the area.

"The baby was examined by the UN delegation that entered 20 days ago, but the delegation did nothing," Kuttoub added.

Syrian media activists from the area shared distressing photos of the dead child, demanding an end to the siege on Ghouta.

"He left after all those who promised him humanity and life failed him," wrote Anas al-Dimashqi on Facebook.

"Hussain may be another statistic to many... But his mother, father, relatives, and beloved all are in unrelenting pain for his loss and the loss of all children under Assad siege in Eastern Ghouta."

Hussain may be another statistic to many... But his mother, father, relatives, and beloved all are in unrelenting pain for his loss and the loss of all children under Assad siege in Eastern Ghouta

The regime has surrounded around 400,000 people who live in Eastern Ghouta. Fifteen residents, including five children, have died of malnutrition, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.

UNICEF said a November survey in the rebel-held area outside Damascus showed 11.9 percent of children under five were suffering acute malnutrition, "the highest rate ever recorded in Syria" since the conflict started.

A UN World Food Programme report also revealed that Syrians were eating rubbish, fainting from hunger and forcing their children to eat on alternate days because of the food shortage in Eastern Ghouta.

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