Plea for fuel as two children die

December 13, 2013 - 7:44:42 am


A Syrian refugee family warms up in their caravan after heavy rain at the Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq.
BEIRUT: The Syrian opposition appealed yesterday for emergency fuel deliveries to rebel-held areas, saying two children had “died of cold” as a winter storm gripped the region.

The opposition National Coalition said that parents were unable to keep children warm in bombed out buildings as temperatures plummeted and snow carpeted many of Syria’s main battlegrounds.

“Hussein Tawil, a six-month-old baby, died of cold yesterday (Wednesday) in Aleppo,” Syria’s second city which has been a key battleground since July last year, Coalition spokesman Soner Ahmad said.

“He was probably living in a house that had been damaged,” Ahmad said.

Another child died from the cold in Rastan, a rebel-held town in the central province of Homs, he added.

Video footage posted online by activists showed the lifeless body of a small child that the unidentified cameraman said had died of cold in Rastan. 

“The situation is terrible. There is no fuel,” Ahmad said, appealing for urgent help for Syrians inside the country and in refugee camps abroad to cope with the wintry conditions.

The education ministry ordered those schools still operating in government-held areas to close because of the extreme weather.

Drifting snow blocked several roads in Homs province, the state SANA news agency said.

A photograph of bombed out buildings in the province covered in snow went viral on the Internet.

A Syrian activist said by Internet that the snow and ice were making it more difficult for them to get supplies into rebel-held areas of the north.

“The situation is very difficult,” said the activist, who gave his name only as Ammar.

“In some areas, people cannot afford fuel for heating, so they are chopping down trees.

AFP

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