A Damnation of Humanity - the Starvation of Civilians as a Tactic of War
That millions of people in Syria, Yemen and Iraq are inflicted by hunger and struggling to survive with little help from the outside world, is easily construed as a failing of humanity. That many are starved as a direct tactic of war, sadly affirms a damnation of humanity in this modern era.
The Associated Press(AP) reported on these condemnations earlier today on its News Service App. In a story headlined: In Mideast wars, hunger grips millions across the region, journalist Zeina Karam with contributions by writers Susannah George in Baghdad and Maggie Michael in Cairo, revealed a stark reality of conditions of war. It cited 400,000 people besieged in 15 communities across Syria and of humanitarian teams who recently entered the besieged town of Madaya, seeing scenes that "haunt the soul," United Nations(UN) Secretary Ban Ki-moon described.
Blockades by both the Syrian regime and rebel groups have led to much starvation in Syria. Noting that the biggest catastrophe of using starvation as a war tactic was in Syria, where both sides were using sieges to force submission and surrender from the other side, the AP report admitted that the tactic "...has proved effective particularly for government forces seeking to pacify opposition-held areas around the capital Damascus."
The report added: "Since October, Russian air strikes and the start of yet another winter have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis and led to deaths from starvation in some places." Activists have documented the deaths of 27 people from starvation within Syria.
In Yemen, some 14.4 million Yemenis, more than half the country's population, are food insecure, the report added while citing World Food Program(WFP) stats that 7.8 Yemenis are in a dire condition "facing life-threatening rates of acute malnutrition."
In Iraq, where three million Iraqis are internally displaced by violence and instability, in total, according to WFP numbers, 8.2 million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance: food, water, shelter or medicine.
War continues to distribute its devastating consequences across the Middle East. The tactic of starving millions of civilians, is yet another example of a crime against humanity committed during conflict that must not go unpunished. Moreover, starvation during war underscores the necessity to end all conflicts.