On Tuesday, a convoy of 16 trucks carrying food entered the besieged Homs district of al-Waer. Noticeably absent was any medicine or medical equipment the town has needed over the past half year. While the UN and Red Crescent have delivered several convoys of aid to al-Waer over the past 6 months of the siege, they have all lacked the necessary medicine and medical supplies.
There is only one field hospital left working in al-Waer, directed by Dr. Abu Mohammed. In speaking with the Syrian Voice, he called on humanitarian organizations to intervene, emphasizing “the necessity of a quick resolution and the entry of medicine” to al-Waer. This plea has been echoed by many other opposition activists as well.
Also on Tuesday, the Medical Office of al-Wear for the Free Homs Provincial Council made an urgent appeal to aid and medical organizations. Only weeks before, on August 8th, the Office had made another appeal to rescue the besieged residents of al-Waer, warning of impending humanitarian disaster for the district’s sick and injured.
Dr. Abu Mohammed explained the dire situation in al-Waer, saying “the hospital has exhausted all of its resources and supplies, and we are the only hospital working here. In the past, there have shortages of medical staff and equipment for surgery. Now, with the ongoing siege and bombing, we are approaching a dangerous juncture. There is no medicine, no equipment, and nothing has come.”
What al-Waer desperately needs, according to Dr. Abu Mohammed, are things like antibiotics, oxygen tanks, EKG machines, blood pressure monitors, and chest tubes.
Because they lack these instruments and medicine, he says, many patients in al-Waer have died.
An activist working on medical aid and food in al-Waer, Nizar al Homsi, held international organizations like the U.N. responsible for failing to provide more medical aid.
“People have been asking for several months for medical aid, but nothing has come, and when they release statements saying medical aid were delivered, this is just simple medicines that keep the district alive, only to suffer more.”
Before the current round 6-month-old siege, the neighborhood was under partial siege for three years, and currently has 90,000 residents living there. They are prevented from leaving, even to other parts of the city or the countryside, as the regime follows a policy using the neighborhood as leverage against the opposition.