This dispatch comes to us via Radio Free Syria:
Western Homs province, Sunday, 3 November 2013
An urgent and desperate appeal from the people of Western Homs province to the human race, to the ‘international community,’ to the United Nations and to regional and international humanitarian and human rights organisations
The men, women and children of western Homs province are not dead yet, but we are dying of starvation and disease under regime siege or in the relentless daily bombardment by Assad’s forces.
The international community has betrayed us, knowingly and deliberately leaving us to be starved and slaughtered by Assad as pawns in its chess game.
In Qalat al Hosn (a.k.a. Krak de Chevaliers) and the surrounding villages, in the Turkmen villages, in Zahra and others, we are being killed daily without pause and with the world’s silent assent.
We have issued repeated appeals to the world’s humanitarian bodies and agencies for help to at least save the lives of the women, children and elderly people, which have been met with silence
The Syrian Coalition of Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Turkmen Council have urged immediate action to save the lives of thousands of civilians trapped in western rural Homs province and for the international bodies to meet their responsibilities to protect innocent civilians from the regime, which is killing them by hunger, as well as by the use of every type of weapon. These appeals too have met with silence.
Due to the ongoing crippling regime siege, which has cut off all supplies of food, medicine, fuel and all essentials for many months, hundreds of extended families, mostly consisting of women and children, remaining in the villages of Western Homs province no longer have any food – not even bread or flour. This man-made famine is taking place in conjunction with the cutting of all water and electricity supplies, which has now lasted for four months. Regime forces have also cut off all telecommunications, imposing a media blackout to prevent the world knowing about the atrocities being inflicted on the people there by the regime and their accomplices.
The worst affected are women, children and elderly people, with an estimated 10,000 children remaining in the area. According to the remaining medical staff, 500 children are infected with diseases, including jaundice or hepatitis, due to regime forces cutting off all water supplies. Fifteen have died so far as a result, although this number is expected to rise as the famine and the horrific conditions worsen by the day. There is no medical equipment or medicine to treat them with due to the siege.
Although these crimes against humanity and the crippling siege are against all international laws, the world remains silent. Assad’s forces are intentionally starving the civilian population, destroying all crops in order to cut off any possible food sources.
The shelling with every kind of weapon is relentless, with Assad’s forces using surface-to-surface missiles, rocket launchers, mortars, tanks and heavy machine guns to target homes.
Those who flee, taking whatever they have, are robbed at the regime checkpoints as they attempt to leave. Hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, have been abducted by regime troops and taken to unknown destinations, where they are believed to be either killed or imprisoned.
For pity’s sake and the love of God, please help us.
From: Muhammad Haydar, Khaled al Hosni and the people of Western Homs province