BEIRUT - Syria's army has sealed the few remaining smuggling routes into the besieged eastern suburbs of Damascus, activists and aid workers said on Wednesday, tightening a choke-hold on rebel-held areas near the capital.
Activists inside the Eastern Ghouta region, a semicircle of rural towns outside Damascus, said no food or supplies had entered the region in days. They said the army began intensifying its blockade over a week ago.
Residents worry that conditions will soon mirror those of people living in suburbs to the west of the capital, where hunger has become so severe that doctors have reported several cases of death and illness from malnutrition.
Aid workers confirmed the activists' accounts.
"It seems the government is tightening its grip on these areas. It seems something is going on, but we can't figure it out," one humanitarian worker said, speaking on condition of anonymity.