A severely-malnourished Syrian baby on the brink of death has become a stark reminder of the horrors of the Syrian way that has been going on for over six years. Sahar Dofdaa was 34-days-old when her parents took her to a clinic in Hamouria in rebel-held East Ghouta. She died the next day, according to the Independent.
Photos and video provided by the hospital and shared by activists show the baby, her translucent skin stretched taut over her bones and breathing with difficulty. She is in great distress but is too weak to make a noise when she cries. Sahar weighed only 1.9 kg when she was admitted. Her malnourished mother was unable to produce milk to feed her baby, a nurse said.
Sadly, this is not a rare case in the war-torn Syria. There are several stories of starving children in East Ghouta, which has been under siege by government forces since 2013. Suicide blasts and drone strikes make headlines everywhere while these stories never see the light of day.
Eastern Ghouta is one of four “de-escalation zones” set up in May under a deal between backers of rival sides in Syria’s devastating six-year war. But food supplies still rarely enter the region, where medical officials say hundreds of children are suffering acute malnutrition.
“Residents suffer from severe food shortages, and when goods are available in the markets, it's at a crazy price,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Medics at hospitals and health clinics in Eastern Ghouta say they examine dozens of malnourished children a day — and the number is on the rise.
According to the Geneva Convention deliberate starvation of citizens is a war crime but the Syrian regime has effectively utilised it to spark tensions between different rebel groups and turn civilians lacking food and medicine against opposition fighters, Independent wrote. Last year, it was reports that the starving citizens of the Syrian city of Madaya had been reduced to living off salt and water to survive.