This report will come as a shocker to all those who thought the Syrian government was willing to end the civil war after it promised to surrender its chemical weapons last year.
Starvation is the latest weapon of war being used against civilians by the Syrian government under Bashar al Assad, the human rights group Amnesty International claimed.
In a document published on Monday, the international human rights organization stated that at least 128 refugees have died due to shortage of food at the besieged Yarmouk camp in Damascus – home to around 17,000-20,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
Based on its research, Amnesty found that the Syrian army and Assad’s regime is creating a food crisis on purpose to torture the internally displaced people.
“Syrian forces are committing war crimes by using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East director.
"The harrowing accounts of families having to resort to eating cats and dogs, and civilians attacked by snipers as they forage for food, have become all too familiar details of the horror story that has materialized in Yarmouk."
According to a deal that was struck last year in September, the Syrian government was forced to surrender its chemical weapons after hundreds of people died in a sarin gas attack in the Ghouta area outside Damascus on 21 August.
In order to avoid a possible U.S. military intervention, Assad’s ally Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the Syrian government to abandon its chemical arsenal.
However, recent revelations such as the ones about Yarmouk and other cities indicate that the war in Syria is far from over.
Earlier this year in January, BBC reported that Syrians in the Old City of Homs became so desperate for food that they started eating grass.
A month later, similar stories were reported from the Yarmouk camp where United Nations distributed food parcels to almost 18,000 residents after months of starvation.
Amnesty found that the residents there had not eaten fruit or vegetables for a long time and at least 60% of the inhabitants were suffering from malnutrition.
The siege of the Palestinian-populated refugee city by the Syrian army has led to a stand-off with insurgents. It’s affecting the lives of the residents and becoming a hurdle in the path of humanitarian efforts.
“The siege of Yarmouk amounts to collective punishment of the civilian population. The Syrian government must end its siege immediately and allow humanitarian agencies unfettered access to assist suffering civilians,” said Mr. Luther in his report.
Turns out, chemical weapons are not the only war crimes being committed by the Syrian regime.
The civilians need more than just a disarmament agreement to carry on with their lives in Syria.