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Besieged Aleppo “only has 3 months of food”: official

The local opposition council has decided to ration supplies after regime forces severed the last road leading into the rebel-held part of the city.

Volunteers distribute food in Aleppo during Ramadan. (AFP/Thaer Mohammed)

BEIRUT – A top opposition official in Aleppo has warned that food stockpiles in the rebel-held half of the city will not last long after regime forces cut off the last remaining supply route into the encircled area.

 

Food stockpiles are not sufficient, and will only last three months at the maximum, Zakaria Aminu, the deputy head of the local opposition council in the beleaguered city, told Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news on Tuesday.

 

He added that the rebel-held parts of Aleppo are particularly lacking in vegetables, leading to a doubling of prices in the past 10 days along with a similar rise in the cost of fuel.

 

His comments come after regime government troops on Sunday seized a stretch of the strategic Castello Road spanning the northern edges of Aleppo after weeks of advances in the area, fully cutting the flow of supplies into rebel held areas of Syria’s second city.

 

Amid the mounting fears among the approximately 400,000 people in the blockaded part of Aleppo, Aminu vowed that the local council adopted a series of precautionary measures to deal with the siege.

 

The opposition official explained that the local council decided to ration food stockpiles, and distribute supplies “fairly” to stores and bakeries.

 

“We are cooperating with military factions to adjust prices and prevent the monopolization of food and fuel [supplies],” Aminu said in the interview.

 

He cautioned that the local council will “hold accountable” parties that attempt to profit from the crisis, adding that efforts will be undertaken to “educate citizens on the optimal consumption” of supplies.

 

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs earlier warned that there was enough food in Aleppo to “last 145,000 people for one month,” noting that the area last received humanitarian supplies on July 7.

 

The humanitarian organization added that there was “sufficient emergency medical supplies for four to five months.”

 

NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language material. 

Volunteers distribute food in Aleppo during Ramadan. (AFP/Thaer Mohammed)

We are cooperating with military factions to adjust prices and prevent the monopolization of food.