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2 newborns freeze to death in Syria’s Idlib

A general view of a tent city which hosts internally displaced Syrians on 5 November 2017 [Mohamad al abd Lla/Anadolu Agency]

Two babies in the opposition-held Idlib province died last night after temperatures plummeted amid a critical lack of basic supplies, according to Syrian news agency Zaman Al-Wasl.

The families of 25-day-old Wael Tuaima and eight-day-old Yahya Al-Hassoun had fled the central province of Hama due to fighting between Syrian regime forces and opposition groups. However, a lack of humanitarian aid reaching the region has resulted in conditions deteriorating rapidly.

The deaths come just one day after International Refugee Rights Organisation Deputy Chairman Abdullah Resul Demir cited a UNICEF study that found that eight out of ten young people in Syria were “children of war”. Some 1.7 million children reportedly live in the worst areas of the conflict, whilst approximately two million are unable to attend school.

Read: Turkey rebuilds over 400 war-torn schools in Syria

Despite Idlib being a de-escalation zone, as enforced by Turkey, Russia and Iran, the region still lacks basic necessities, putting its thousands of residents, many of whom are displaced or homeless, at risk of starvation as winter approaches.

The situation in Idlib is mirrored in several other Syrian cities. An Amnesty report released last week found evidence of the Syrian regime implementing a “surrender or starve” policy in at least four cities; a strategy that it says amounts to a crime against humanity.

The plight of those trapped in besieged areas of Syria was brought to the forefront last month when a picture of one-month-old Sahar Dofdaa in eastern Ghouta, who weighed less than two kilogrammes with her bones clearly visible beneath her skin before her death, prompted fresh outrage.

Ghouta is also an authorised de-escalation zones as established in May, but the besieged province is still subject to regular airstrikes from the Syrian regime; seven children were killed last month after a school was bombed.

Read: Syria opposition groups form new government in Idlib

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