THE UNITED NATIONS has grossly underestimated the number of people living under siege by both the Assad government and rebel forces, a Syrian medical association has charged.

In a report entitled “Slow Death”, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said 640,200 Syrians are currently living in at least 49 besieged communities across Syria, more than three times the U.N. estimate as of February 2015. “The 212,000 number cited by the U.N. is much lower than what everyone is seeing and experiencing,” Valerie Szybala, the report’s author, told Syria Deeply.