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Aleppo Starves Under Siege

A firsthand account of the devastating rebel siege of Aleppo that is depriving 2 million residents of basic supplies.
People buy potatoes from a street vendor on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, at the Karaj Al-Hajez crossing, a passageway separating Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr, which is under the rebels' control and Al-Masharqa neighborhood, an area controlled by the regime, July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman   (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTX11J4H

Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, sad eyes and tired faces. A broken city of deserted streets and empty shops, as a dejected population of almost 2 million is being slowly strangled to death. Both sides of the conflict lay the blame on each other, while the truth is that both are equally to blame, wagering the lives of so many in their deadly tug of war, one that has both metaphorically and literally torn this city and its people apart.

Staples like fresh food, vegetables, milk, bread and meat are in very short supply and priced out of the reach of most people. Fruit is now a luxury item, brand-name cigarettes are beyond the reach of any but the rich, the rest make do with dodgy generic-looking packs which taste and smell like burning sawdust. Driving a private car is only for the elite, as a full tank of gasoline now costs two months in wages for an average worker. Public transportation is very scarce, and at double or triple the normal price.

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