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News Link • Syria

Syrians sounding alarm over growing food shortages

•, Paul Raymond and Roy Gutman
 With bread scarce in major cities and towns, infant formula in extremely short supply and fuel costs skyrocketing, civilians in war-ravaged Syria face an acute food crisis that might end in starvation for many, according to activists from around the country of 22 million.

In the eastern city of Deir el Zour, eight infants have starved for want of powdered milk since a major military assault there began in July, Syrians from the city told McClatchy at a conference in Ankara, Turkey. Severe food shortages were reported in nearly every province.

The activists also renewed charges that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to have targeted the food chain by bombing bakeries throughout rebel-controlled areas. The activists, who represented municipal councils in most parts of Syria, had been summoned to Turkey as part of an attempt by the former Syrian ambassador to Sweden, Mohammad Bassam Imadi, to set up a new aid effort.

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