ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A deadly “flesh-eating” disease known as Leishmaniasis has been rapidly spreading in Syria’s rural areas, caused by ISIS dumping bodies in the streets, the head of the Kurdish Red Crescent told Rudaw.
"As a result of abominable acts by ISIS that included the killing of innocent people and dumping their corpses in streets, this is the leading factor behind the rapid spread of Leishmanisis disease," said Dilqash Isa.
The World Health Organization has warned that Syria’s health system has collapsed under five years of war, helping the disease spread rapidly through a country already plagued by violence.
"We did not have knowledge about this deadly disease before,” a Syrian Kurdish fighter told news agencies. “We have been fighting on the battlefield for almost four years and this disease basically generated from embattled areas of Tal Hamis, Hon and Qosa,"
The first case of the disease, caused by protozoan parasites and usually carried by flies, was reported in September 2013.
By mid- 2014, 500 people had been affected, according to activists reporting on Syria.