​​​​​​​Thousand people in al-Shahba face harshest government siege in 5 years

 More than 200,000 people from al-Shahba canton and the displaced from occupied Afrin are facing a humanitarian catastrophe after the Damascus government tightened the unjust siege on the canton, which caused the closure of service, medical and educational institutions there.

 Al-Shahba canton, which is inhabited by more than 200,000 people of its original inhabitants and the displaced of the occupied Afrin canton, is heading towards a humanitarian catastrophe, as the "Fourth Division" of the Damascus government continues to tighten the siege on the canton, which is at the same time subjected to violent attacks by the Turkish occupation state, targeting citizens and infrastructure.  almost daily.

 Al-Shahba canton, which is under a suffocating siege as a result of the starvation policies imposed by the Damascus government, includes four sub-districts (Tal Rifaat, Ahras, Ahadath, Fafin) and 40 villages and towns belonging to the four sub-districts.

 There are also five camps for the displaced from occupied Afrin, namely: (Afrin, al-Shahba, al-Awda, Sardam, and Berkhdan).

 And the Damascus government’s prevention of fuel entry into the canton caused a power outage after the generators stopped working. The internet was cut off, in addition to all service work as a result of the suspension of the necessary mechanisms for its completion.

The Damascus government has been pursuing for more than 4 years - specifically since the occupation of Afrin canton in March 2018 - a policy of (sustenance that does not die) against the residents of al-Shahba canton and the displaced from Afrin canton.

 Several months ago, the Fourth Division was allowing 15 tanks of diesel fuel to enter al-Shahba district, which is a very small amount compared to the district's need, which amounts to about 60 tanks every two weeks.

 In the last two months, the Fourth Division has completely banned the entry of diesel fuel into the canton.

 The same applies to gas. The Damascus government has reduced the number of gas cylinders from about 28,000 to 10,000 cylinders. The price of one cylinder is 100,000 Syrian pounds, and later it completely banned entry.

 This siege cast a shadow over all aspects of life in the canton, as the Education Authority of Afrin region recently decided to suspend the official school hours for a whole week due to the lack of fuel, starting from December 4;  According to the authority, the suspension will be extended if the siege continues.

 There are 72 schools and institutes in al-Shahba, and about 15,000 male and female students in various stages.

 Water tanks also stopped distributing water in the canton, due to the lack of fuel oil to operate generators and transport water via tractors to the cities and villages of the four districts of the canton and the camps for the displaced.

 Also, infant formula and medicines were cut off in medical centers and pharmacies, which are on the verge of closing due to the lack of medicines in them.

This was after the checkpoints of the Damascus government imposed amounts by measuring the truckload of medicines in metres, in case it was allowed to pass into the Muqata’a.

 There are 7 joint checkpoints for the security branches and the Damascus government forces on the road connecting the city of Aleppo and al-Shahba canton, about 20 km away. They are checkpoints for (the Fourth Division, Air Force Intelligence, Military Security, State Security, General Intelligence, Customs, and Police).



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