A new video appearing to show residents in the besieged Damascus countryside city of Madaya receiving aid at a military checkpoint has surfaced on social media this week.
The town has for months been under a fierce siege by Syrian government troops and their Lebanese Shiite backers, Hezbollah, leaving some 40,000 residents without enough food and medical supplies to survive. Monday's video shows the first aid convoy to be delivered to the city since October, when a total choke-hold by Damascus went into effect.
The video, released on Facebook by Turkey-based outlet al-Khal, shows crowds of people waiting at a military checkpoint and is presented with a description saying in addition to allowing food in, military personnel are collecting names of individuals who would like to leave the city.
The UN also announced the entrance of aid convoys to the city Monday, saying enough food to last 40,000 people for a month will be delivered throughout the night. A BBC correspondent traveling with the convoy confirmed the first batch of food had arrived Monday afternoon.
Though Madaya has become the most public example of rampant starvation and besiegement in Syria, other rebel-held areas have also suffered. Aid convoys in two villages farther north in the Idlib govnorate were carried out simultaneously with those in Madaya, as aid groups say some 20,000 residents there have been trapped since March.
The aid package comes after a lot of public scrutiny over the shocking conditions faced by residents in these areas. And though Monday's success could be a sign of goodwill, the numbers speak for themselves. Some 4.5 million Syrians are currently living in areas deemed hard-to-reach or besieged by the UN. The organization has made numerous requests to warring factions to deliver aid to these places, only 10 percent of which have been granted in the last year.
Watch the video below, via Facebook.
فيديو تداوله ناشطون لأهالي مدينة #مضايا، على حاجز للجيش، وسط أنباء عن وصول المساعدات للمدينة. وكان ناشطون قد قالوا إن حزب الله والنظام السوري "يجمعون الاهالي على الحواجز لاستقبال المساعدات، بالإضافة إلى تسجيل أسماء الأشخاص الذين يريدون المغادرة". واتهم الناشطون الحزب بـ"فعل ذلك لإقناع الفريق الأممي أنه لا يحاصر المدينة".Posted by موقع الحل السوري on Monday, January 11, 2016
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