Fifty Syrian refugees trapped along the Jordanian-Syrian border by ongoing shelling died of starvation and malnutrition on Monday and Tuesday, activists and border region residents said.
The deaths were reported in the Syrian border villages of Daal, Sheikh Maskin and Al Tufs as regime forces continued an ongoing aerial bombing campaign that has prevented food supplies from reaching the under-siege towns.
The vast majority of the deceased were some of the estimated 50,000 displaced Syrians who have fled various cities across the country and have been prevented by rising violence from crossing into Jordan, activists claim.
“We are starting to see children and even adults dying from simple health conditions such as dehydration and diarrhea,” said Ahmad Al Jayousi, a volunteer nurse at a makeshift field hospital in Al Tufs, where 20 patients have reportedly died of malnutrition-related complications this week.
The reported deaths raises to 250 the total number of civilians in southern Syria who have allegedly succumbed to starvation-related health conditions this month, Syrian rebel officials say, warning that the lives of over 20,000 remain in danger should relief agencies fail to break the ongoing military blockade and deliver aid to border towns and villages.
Damascus continued its seven-week-old aerial offensive across southern Syria, closing off traditional access routes to Jordan and driving hundreds to flee to the Kingdom via the eastern desert along the Iraqi border.
Some 400 Syrians crossed into Jordan early Tuesday, the Jordan Armed Forces said, the vast majority having travelled from the northern Syrian towns of Homs and Hama.