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Middle east

Syrians braced for harsh winter in war-torn Aleppo

©

Video by Assia Shihab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-19

Rocked by months of fighting between regular army forces and rebels, the city of Aleppo is now dealing with an alarming food shortage. France 24’s reporters spoke to residents desperately waiting for bread rations.

Residents of Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, are preparing to face a difficult winter. After five months of some of the worst fighting in the civil war, a desperate humanitarian crisis seems imminent.

Finding bread –a staple for Syrians– has become increasingly difficult in Aleppo amid reports of wheat shortages. Residents used to the devastation left behind by combats are now fighting the added burden of hunger.

France 24’s reporters found that little if no humanitarian aid has reached the city, and spoke to angry people forced to stand in long food rationing lines.

“This is all because of [President] Bashar al-Assad and his regime. They cut petrol lines, and stopped supplies of flour, water and electricity” one man yelled. “He's behind this crisis.”

Rebels belonging to the Free Syrian Army supervise the distribution of food, and with growing frequency are the target of people’s frustration. Some Aleppo residents claim the rebels unfairly channel bread rations to friends.

But the fighters defend their role in this key Syrian battleground. “We are in a time of war. There will be difficult times ahead and people will be hungry, but we must be ready to go hungry if needs be,” one rebel said.

Many of Aleppo’s residents have already fled elsewhere in search of safety and food, but for those who have remained behind, home feels more and more like a prison.

Date created : 2012-12-19

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