Call from Shehba Canton lacking medicine under regime embargo

The Shehba Canton in North and East Syria region is faced with a critical lack of medicine and medical supplies due to the embargo imposed by the Syrian regime. This causes great concerns for the people with cancer and chronic diseases.

While the Syrian regime does not allow those seriously ill to be driven to Aleppo for treatment, there exists a shortage of some medicine in the region due to the embargo.

The lack of medicine experienced by the Avrîn Hospital and Heyva Sor a Kurd Healthcare Center fails to provide conditions for meeting the medical needs of the people living in the region, of children and women in the first place.

The lack of medicine affects mainly patients needing treatment in psychiatry, oncology and dialysis departments.

Heyva Sor a Kurd official Ekrem Ereb said that urgent medicine is needed for over a thousand people with skin cancer and dermatological diseases and 300 psychiatric patients.

Ekrem Ereb called upon concerned institutions and establishments to take action to provide medicine and medical supplies to the Shehba Canton.

Embargo against the Shehba Canton by the Syrian regime

The northern Syrian canton of Shehba is located in the northwest of Aleppo, just a few kilometers from the region under the regime’s control. The area is characterized by desert and yet has about 90,000 inhabitants and more than 140,000 protection seekers mainly from Afrin. As a result of attacks by Turkish-backed militias, infrastructure and agriculture in the region have been severely damaged, causing the canton to suffer massive supply problems.

While Turkey and its militias in the north and west attack the region repeatedly, the Syrian regime also keeps the border closed or collects large sums for the passage. The road from the self-governed areas of northeastern Syria also runs through the territory under regime control and is therefore virtually impossible to pass.

“Tax” imposition

There are five checkpoints on the border between the self-governing Shehba region and the regime-controlled region. At these checkpoints, regime forces extort “taxes” from the people of Shehba and Afrin.

Ahmed Isa from the Afrin Solidarity Committee says the regime is trying hard to break the will of the people. In addition, aid trucks coming from North and East Syrian cities are subjected to taxes at the border points.

50 dead because ambulances were not allowed to pass

The Syrian regime forces also prevent ambulances in the region from going to Aleppo. In Shehba there is no adequate medical care. So far, 50 ill people died because the ambulances were not allowed to pass.

Fuel is not allowed in the region

Isa reports that fuel transport to the region is also hampered: “The Syrian regime has not yet provided the population with a single barrel of diesel. The regime demands three million Syrian liras for each tanker sent from northeastern Syria for the people of Afrin. This is a big problem for the farmers, and since people cannot be be provided with heating in winter, they get sick.”

Doctors are not allowed in the area

The Syrian regime does not loosen the embargo for health services even. Doctors from Aleppo are denied access to the health centers built by Kurdish Red Crescent Heyva Sor a Kurd in six various locations in Shehba region. Also, trucks transporting medicine to the region are made to pay seven million Syrian lira “tax” each.