A woman carries a son while tending to the wounds of another son inside a field hospital after what activists said was shelling by forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Eastern Ghouta, Syria November 19, 2015.Bassam Khabieh / Reuters

Article initially published by Foreign Affairs on September 12, 2016 and written by Annie Sparrow

In late August, Moaz and Nawraz, a pair of conjoined twins, died in Syria. To be sure, the odds were always stacked against the pair, who were joined at the chest and born in the world’s deadliest war zone. But they were quite healthy, nursing and living without special support. They had been safely transferred to Damascus, and had received offers of medical evacuation from the United States, various European countries, and Saudi Arabia—all expenses paid. Yet the government of President Bashar al-Assad declined the help and stopped all visits from their nursing mother.

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