UN, January 29. /TASS/. Dozens civilians died and got injured in the combat actions in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor, seized by the Islamic State militants (outlawed in Russia) the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a weekly report, published on Saturday.
"Fighting between ISIL and Government of Syria (GoS) forces is currently concentrated in the Al-Ommal and Rasafa neighbourhoods, the Al-Baglieh area and west of Deir-ez-Zor airbase" the report reads. "Medical sources inside the besieged city reported 19 civilian deaths and at least 44 civilian injuries due to shelling between 15 and 23 January."
Besides, OCHA wrote in the report about "unconfirmed reports from local sources that 40 bodies of under 15-year-olds were discovered in the areas where the clashes between ISIL and the GoS took place. If confirmed, this would substantiate allegations that ISIL is recruiting children for active combat."
"Urgent medical evacuations are required for at least 97 civilians who are in critical condition. Due to insufficient medical resources and the ongoing fighting, the number of people in need of medical evacuations is expected to rise," the report says.
"Inside Deir-ez-Zor city, generators remain the only source of electricity as fuel is scarce, but they are only being used to supply civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, water networks and bakeries. Water continues to be pumped into Deir-ez-Zor once per week as per standard practice. In Harabesh people depend mainly on the river water which they can only access at night because ISIL is in control of the opposite river bank. While having to fetch water in proximity to ISIL controlled territory is an obvious protection concern, the consumption of untreated water from the river also exposes residents of Harabesh to the risk of water-borne diseases."
"The area of Deir-ez-Zor city under government control has been besieged by ISIL since July 2014, depriving up to 93,500 people from regular access to food and medicines," OCHA said. "An ISIL offensive on Deir-ez-Zor that started on 15 January has effectively cut the besieged enclave in two as of 17 January. This cut resulted in the separation of the Deir-ez-Zor airport and the two eastern neighborhoods (Harabesh and Alrasafa) populated by an estimated 6,000 people from the western neighborhoods, where the bulk of the city’s 93,500 population live."
The report says the Syrian government continues delivering to the sieged regions small supplies of food, most of which is for the servicemen fighting against the Islamic State militants.
The UN also reported the delivery of bread and other products to Deir-ez-Zor, organized by the Russian Aerospace Force on January 17 and 18.