A graphic picture has emerged which appears to show Syrian rebels so desperate for food they have killed and butchered a lion.
Parts of Damascus have been under siege by the Syrian army for more than six months, causing food to become scarce as winter draws near.
The picture, which has not been independently verified, appears to show a visibly emaciated lion.
It is though to have been captured from Al-Qarya al-Shama Zoo, in east Ghouta.
Last month, clerics issued a fatwa, or religious order which allowed staving Syrians to eat cats and dogs if food supplies became desperate.
The picture is being circulated by many as an example of how desperate the starving rebels have become – but some believe the rebels are skinning the animal to use its coat for warmth, rather than to eat its meat.
Ghouta was the target of the chemical attack on August 21st which sparked debate around the world over the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.
Last month, weapons inspectors confirmed Syria’s chemical weapon production facilities had been destroyed.
The regime’s stockpile of weapons has been removed from Syria and taken to a US Navy ship, where they are in the process of being neutralised.