Categorized | Lebanon, Syria

Hezbollah denies accusations of ‘starving civilians in Madaya’


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by Chris Tomson

A representative of the Lebanese resistance-militia Hezbollah released a statement in response to Syrian rebel groups and several western media outlets which have accused Hezbollah of blocking goods from reaching 40.000 civilians inside Madaya. Madaya is a rebel-held town which is geographically situated near the Lebanese border and just 3 kilometers from Zabadani; however, the Syrian Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have enforced a blockade on Madaya until local rebels give up their weapons and sue for amnesty.

Eight significant Hezbollah points were made to adress the issue:

1. Tens of trucks carrying food and medical supplies were delivered to Madaya and Serghaya on the 18th of October. More will be brought in the week to come.

2. Madaya has been held hostage for months by 600 militants – these rebels are made up roughly by 60 % Ahrar al-Sham, 30 % Jabhat al-Nusra and 10 % the Free Syrian Army.

3. Armed groups in Madaya control food supplies within the town and sell to whoever can afford it; thus, starvation is widespread among poor civilians.

4. Madaya was not under siege until militants began to use it as a base from which they launched shells and attacks towards Hezbollah and the SAA inside the town of Zabadani.

5. Militants use inhabitants of Madaya as human shields and as a political card to further their propaganda campagain.

6. There have been many attempts by inhabitants of Madaya to leave the town but the militants block any such efforts.

7. There are negotiations for 300 militants to hand themselves in to authorities but the remaining militants have refused to allow such a deal.

8. Finally, the goals of those behind the Madaya smear campaign are obviously to tarnish the image of the Lebanese resistance and Syrian government.

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