Assad's 'starve or kneel' policy

On the morning of May 12 people in the besieged town of Daraya south of Damascus heard that an aid convoy was heading their way with supplies of food and medicine, the first during the three years they have been encircled by the Syrian army. Since the closure of a smuggling route into Daraya, signs of severe malnutrition have multiplied.

The World Today
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People began to gather at the army checkpoint. They found the convoy was held up while diplomats and aid officials tried to persuade Syrian security men to honour the government’s promise to let the convoy in. In fact there was no food on board, only baby formula and medicine. Even so, after five hours it was forced to turn back. United Nations officials blamed the Fourth Armoured Division of the Syrian army, an elite formation known for its fierce loyalty to the Assad family, for blocking the aid.

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