Starvation in Madaya

A first aid convoy reached the town of Madaya which has been under siege by Syrian government troops for six months on Monday. The siege has left around 40,000 residents suffering from starvation. Is the aid just a drop in the ocean?

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Starvation in Madaya is a war crime

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must not get away with using starvation as a weapon in the civil war, the centre-left daily criticises:

“The starving of civilians as a means of waging war is banned - as the Geneva Convention makes clear. Any violation of this principle constitutes a war crime. ... None of the warring parties, however, uses sieges of civilian areas, indiscriminate bombing and hunger as systematically as the Assad regime and the militias with which he is allied, such as the Iran-backed Hezbollah. ... Like the sieges of Yarmouk and Homs before it, Madaya has caused an international outcry. But this has done nothing to ensure the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions that call for unhindered access for aid organisations. Russia and Iran are doing nothing to force the regime to honour them.”

La Croix (FR) /

Food alone can't save Madaya

Providing food to the inhabitants of Madaya must be just the first step, the Catholic daily La Croix points out:

“Food is necessary, of course. Essential even. But it's not enough. With their cruel horse trading, the various camps involved in Syria are engaged in a propaganda war which amply demonstrates that only a global peace solution can bring the conflict to an end. The flood of atrocious images testifies to the disastrous human consequences which have already claimed a quarter of a million lives. … The people of Madaya - and all of Syria - deserve more than just a short-term humanitarian effort in response to the pressure exerted by shocking photos.”