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Syrians under siege in Homs demand aid that's stalled outside their city

By Susanna Capelouto and Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
updated 8:39 PM EST, Wed January 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least 114 people were killed Wednesday, opposition activists say
  • People in the city of Homs are starving after nearly two years under siege
  • Aid convoys are stranded outside the city waiting for word to move in
  • "We need food and water because we have small children," a mother pleads

(CNN) -- A U.N. convoy carrying food for the people of the old Syrian city of Homs is waiting to be allowed passage, as residents plead for the government to end a siege that's been starving them for nearly 600 days.

"Our trucks are loaded and ready to go in as soon as all sides allow it," said Dina Elkassaby with the U.N. World Food Program.

Those left behind in Homs have little food and haven't seen bread in months. They also live under the constant threat of shelling.

"The aid is just outside. It needs to come in. We need food and water because we have small children," a mother tells an opposition activist in an interview obtained by CNN. She sits in her simple living room with her child and husband by her side.

In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war: In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
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Brahimi: What's the vision for Syria?

Diplomats at the Geneva 2 peace negotiations in the Swiss city reached a yet-to-be-executed deal to evacuate some women and children, United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said.

But for this Homs family, leaving is not an option.

"If my wife leaves and my baby leaves, am I expected to stay here? What will I do if I stay here? The government already thinks we are terrorists. That won't work," the husband said in the interview.

The United Nations estimates that it will need to feed about 2,500 people if the convoy gets permission to enter Homs.

"WFP has prepared 500 family rations right now. Each ration has enough for five people," Elkassaby said.

The United States blamed the Syrian government for the dire situation, accusing it of waging a "kneel or starve campaign."

"The regime is blocking all convoys of aid to Homs, and has been doing so for months. The situation is extremely urgent. Anything the regime says to the contrary is wrong," a senior U.S. official at the talks told CNN.

On Wednesday, the Syrian peace talks achieved nothing "substantive," Brahimi said in Geneva, but he remains hopeful the two sides will resume negotiations that will be more productive.

Elsewhere in Syria, government planes pounded Daraya, south of Damascus, dropping 20 barrel bombs, according to opposition groups.

At least 114 people were killed Wednesday across Syria, including 21 children, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed in the country since 2011.

CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.

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