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Father's search for food for his starving family

A father has spoken about the desperate search for food to help feed his children. One of his daughters, Marwa, died two months ago due to malnutrition as her father tried to find the food that might have saved her:

Doctors told us that we must feed Marwa sweets and sugar but I can't afford it, it is too expensive and hard to find so I brought them saccharine. Safa and Marwa is twin, Marwa died two months ago because of malnutrition, she was two years and half, I couldn't buy milk for my children, I have no work.

She was fine but I cannot afford to get her milk, I could only make them barely flour with water, this only thing we could feed them with, she started to get weaker till she died.

– Abu Qasem

Now he is watching as his youngest daughter slowly wastes away due to malnutrition. Born healthy Wala'a was taken to doctors when she started to struggle to breathe and now has to be fed through a tube to get the little amount of formula the family can get into her tiny body.

Wala was well at the beginning, now she is not. I lose my children one after another.

Their mother was breast feeding them but now she cannot, we only eat one meal a day and the only thing we eat is barely and olives.

'Tragedy of Wala'a will repeat' if the crisis does not end

The story of three-month-old Wala'a, who has been left malnourished after her family struggled to find food in a besieged area of Damascus in not an isolated case according to UNICEF.

Read more: Starving girl footage reveals horrors of Syrian conflict

Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa told ITV News:

"It's a tragedy and any one child reduced to this condition, its both a tradegy and a failure of our system.

"Any case like that of little Wala'a is no doubt a tradedy, a tragedy for the family and a tragedy that can repeat itself over and over again, if the crisis does not end."

Speaking of the siege in Homs, she added: "The first tragedy that all families speak about is about the loss, the insecurity of food, the access to food and to survive they often had to go to their neighbour, their neighbours and neighbours that had fled in order to search for food.

"And sometimes even when that was not enough, they resorted to plants, to feeding themselves in whatever way they possible."


Syrian mother watches as a second daughter starves

Wala'a's doctors believe that if she survives she will be left with brain damage and could be paralysed due to malnutrition.

Her mother says she was healthy when she was first born three months ago:

Malnutrition and lack of milk and sugar because we cannot afford to bring milk and sugar and she became like this. She was better when she was born , she was laughing and crying

I tell all mothers to take care of their children and feed them well, this is the second child I have and they are dying infront of my eyes and I cannot do anything.

– Um Qasem

Wala'a's elder sister Marwa died just two months ago, leaving behind her twin Safa.

Marwa was good and moving and talking and slowly she started getting weaker day by day and melting in front of our eyes and she stopped eating and then she passed away.

– Um Qasem

Syria: Women and children among car bomb dead

Cars burn after two car bombs at Karm al-Louz neighbourhood in Homs city. Credit: Reuters\SANA

The death toll of two car bombs in the Syrian central city of Homs included women and children, Syria's state-run news agency SANA said.

The blasts on a busy street also wounded 107 people, SANA said. SANA said one car was parked near a sweet shop, and that half an hour later another car blew up


British fighters in Syria 'not planning UK attacks'

A British man fighting with the Syrian rebels against President Assad has told ITV News that he has no intention of coming home to launch attacks against the UK.

He says he is one of an estimated 300 Brits fighting in the civil war that has devastated the country.

Intelligence agencies here fear that the fighters, many of who are just young men, will return to the UK and plan atrocities on British soil, but the fighter, who calls himself Abu Summayah al Britani, said that was not his intention.

He spoke to UK Editor Lucy Manning from an unknown location inside Syria.

British 'fighter not linked to any one group' in Syria

A man who claims to be a British fighter in Syria working with the rebels as they attempt to overthrow President Assad said he is part of an international movement of fighters from all over the world helping the Syrian people, but is "not linked to any one group" of Islamists.

The "fighter", who calls himself Abu Summayah al Britani said:

"There are many, not just British but European from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Australia all of English speaking, Americans, I bumped into a brother here from Chicago, not just long ago, a few guys from Australia, a few brothers from China, from Malaysia.

"We've come from all over the world. We’ve come from all over the world from different backgrounds, from different nationalities and we have come here to support our brothers and sisters in Syria.

"I am not linked with any group at the moment. I have not pledged my allegiance to any group to Al Qaeda or to ISIS, but I support ISIS with my heart and with my tongue, and with my works".

ISIS are a group of Islamic fighters within Syria who were until recently linked to al-Qaeda. The Syrian National Coalition told ITV News they did not want British fighters to work with Syrian rebels against Assad.

More: British fighters in Syria 'not planning UK attacks'

British Jihadi 'in Syria fighting for Islam'

A British man who says he is a fighter in Syria said there were "many reasons" to go and fight with the rebels against the Assad regime, but his main motivation was religious. Speaking on a mobile phone, he told ITV News:

"Well there are many, many reasons for me to come out here and fight...the first reason for me is not to you know to come and help the first reason here is because Allah asked me in the Quran. So for me this is more of an ideological struggle. This is more about Islam for me.

"The second reason I am here, the most prominent reason is to re-establish the Islamic state. A state which is governed by the Islamic sharia, and not by the wills and desires of men.

"The third reason I would say is to be here and to support my Muslim brothers".

More: British fighters in Syria 'not planning UK attacks'

British jihadi in Syria 'has no intention' to attack UK

A British man who claims to be fighting for the Syrian rebels told ITV News he has no intention of returning to the UK to launch an attack, though he did understand those fighters who would.

More: British fighters in Syria 'not planning UK attacks'

Speaking on a mobile phone from an unknown location inside Syria, a man who calls himself Abu Summayah al Britani told ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning:

"The Mujahedeen here have no intention of number one going back, and number two attacking any other country.We are in a state of war here, and you know we are in a state of emergency.

More: British fighter not linked to any one group in Syria'

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