Hassakè (Agenzia Fides) - In neighborhoods and suburbs of the Syrian city of Deir al Zor, under siege by the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh), at least 120 thousand Syrian civilians are starving. The alarm was launched by Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, at the head of the Syrian Catholic archdiocese of Hassakè-Nisibis. "For over a year, ever since they lost seats and a strategic part of the city areas - reports the Archbishop to Agenzia Fides - jihadists have intensified the siege, by not bringing food. The few products that are still found - tomatoes, canned sardines, some tea - are sold on the black market with prices more than tenfold".
On January 17, Daesh militiamen attacked areas of the city killing at least 300 civilians and deporting hundreds more. Archbishop Hindo, believes that the city represents at the moment a strategic interest for jihadists of the Islamic state: "Many of them - says the Archbishop - begin to think that Raqqa, their capital in Syria, could fall. Therefore they are moving to Deir el Zor, perhaps with the intention of turning it into their new stronghold. But so far Russian air raids and also those of the United States occured only when the jihadists tried to occupy the airport". Before the war a thousand Christian families lived in Deir el Zor. Now, according to Archbishop Hindo, there is only one Christian in the city. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 27/01/2016)