Skip to main content

Originally published January 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Page modified January 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

  • Share:
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Activists: 63 people die in Syria refugee camp

More than 60 people have died over the past months in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria's capital from a lack of food and medicine, an activist group said Friday.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >



More than 60 people have died over the past months in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria's capital from a lack of food and medicine, an activist group said Friday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the first person died in the Yarmouk camp in June. It said a total of 63 people have died there since the siege began -- 61 of which died in the past three months.

Yarmouk, on the southern fringe of Damascus, is one of the worst-hit besieged areas in Syria. Activists and residents previously said that some 50 people died of starvation and hunger-related illnesses since the government imposed a blockade on the sprawling district a year ago.

The Observatory called on the international community, and Russia, which has close links with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, to work toward lifting the siege imposed by government forces and loyal Palestinian militiamen.

"It is shameful that the international community, which claims to protect human beings, is not working for ending the humanitarian crisis in Syria," the group said in a statement.

Over the past week, authorities allowed a few hundred food parcels to reach the camp in what appeared to be a goodwill gesture ahead of a peace conference in Switzerland.

Rami al-Sayed, a videographer and resident in the Yarmouk camp, said earlier this week that only a tiny amount of aid entered because government officials ordered aid workers to distribute the parcels in an area under sniper fire.

The need to open humanitarian corridors to relieve civilian suffering is one of the expected topics of the peace conference that opened Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux.

In the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest, the Observatory and the Aleppo Media Center reported an air raid on the Dahret Awad neighborhood. The Observatory said the airstrikes killed and wounded several people, while the Aleppo Media Center said 10 were killed.

In neighboring Lebanon, three rockets fired from Syria fell in the border town of Hermel, a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group, whose members are fighting along Assad's forces, the state-run National News Agency said. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Syrian rebels have fired scores of rockets into predominantly Shiiite areas of Lebanon over the past months, killing and wounding a number of people.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Reserve your copy of "The Seattle Sketcher," the long-awaited book by staff artist Gabriel Campanario, for the special price of just $29.95.


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►