Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Hundreds of thousands of civilians besieged by rebels in Afrin

Aleppo province – Afrin district: The city of Afrin and its surrounding towns and villages is suffering from an intensifying humanitarian crisis, due to the rebel besiegement of the area since 25/5/2013. This has caused clashes between the rebel factions and the YPG, which controls the area.

Afrin city lies at the far north of Syria, it is linked to Aleppo by 3 main roads. The district includes 7 towns and 300 villages. The original estimated population of the district is more than 500,000 inhabitants, but since the intensity of the conflict more than 200,000 internally displaced people, mostly from within Aleppo province, have sought refuge in the Afrin district.

The besieged area is suffering from a shortage of food supplies, as well as the soaring prices of existent supplies. The rebel siege has also caused a shortage in fuel, medicines, medical supplies and other basic human needs. There is a shortage of flour and sugar, making prices of bread very expensive.

There are no more available vaccinations in the 4 existing hospitals or the 2 clinics in the district, and there is a very short supply of medicines for epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis and Leishmaniasis, there is fear of outbreaks. The hospitals and medical centres also face a shortage in oxygen and other medicines and medical equipment, putting the lives of the those requiring medical attention at risk.