In an effort to avoid Syrian fighter jets in the country’s Ghouta region, thousands of civilians have found refuge in underground sewer systems, basements, and tunnels.
Over 600 people have been killed by airstrikes in Ghouta over the last two weeks, despite there technically being a cease-fire in place, a cease-fire that has gone all but ignored.
The civilians living underground have made their homes in these tunnels, seemingly in an attempt to continue any semblance of normality. Syria’s military has been on the offensive to recapture this region found just east of Damascus.
According to the UN, 15,000 people have fled their homes in the region, with most of them now living out of underground refuges such as the ones mentioned above.
Many of the underground tunnels being used by civilians have collapsed, particularly those under more densely populated and built-up areas. The reasons for these collapses are varied, from airstrikes and shelling, to diminished structural rigidity and poor build quality, regardless; aid workers have been working round the clock to save those trapped by the rubble.
Despite the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma being home to countless people in dire need for food, water, and general medical supplies, UN aid convoys have been denied access by the Syrian forces. The UN had hoped to drive 40 trucks packed with supplies into the frontline town, with earlier reports appearing to be hopeful that the UN would be allowed in, however; that has now been proven untrue.
Douma, the largest town in Eastern Ghouta, has been the site of countless airstrikes over the course of the war, but now the situation has become desperate. The UN convoy’s medical supplies were to be used to replenish and perform the task of the dozen hospitals that have been destroyed by military airstrikes.
Featured Image Credits: AP