Syrian child
A child carries a school bag near damaged buildings in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. A Save the Children report reveals some 250,000 children are under siege in Syria Reuters

As the Syrian war reaches its fifth anniversary next week, a report has revealed that more than a quarter of a million children are living under siege with many waiting "for their turn to die".

Save the Children interviewed more than 125 mothers, fathers and children and found that youngsters lived in constant fear of attack with the violence of daily life causing them considerable psychological problems.

Nearly half of the 560 deaths in the areas that the charity looked at were comprised of children under 14.

Children have no choice but to eat boiled leaves and animal feed however many have perished from poison from scavenged food, malnutrition and dehydration.

Their report says: "No child should have to live under these conditions. Parties to the conflict have an obligation under international law to allow humanitarian aid to reach besieged areas.

"For far too long, the rights of children and other civilians in these areas have been denied, with disastrous consequences. This intolerable situation cannot be permitted to continue.

'Fear has taken control'

Barrel bombs are dropped on besieged areas more than any other part of Syria including attacks on a playground in Al Wa'er in September 2015, Airstrikes killed at least 29 children in Eastern Ghouta in two weeks in December alone.

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children US said: "Children are dying from lack of food and medicine in parts of Syria just a few kilometres from warehouses that are piled high with aid supplies. They are paying the price for the world's inaction.

"Families interviewed for this report spoke of sick babies dying at checkpoints, vets treating humans and children forced to eat animal feed as they cower in basements from airstrikes. Enough is enough. After nearly five years of conflict in Syria, it's time to end the sieges."

One mother in Eastern Ghouta told the charity: "Fear has taken control. Children now wait for their turn to be killed. Even adults live only to wait for their turn to die."

After a ceasefire has been in place, talks will resume in Geneva this week which will be attended by the Syrian government and the main opposition.

The talks come amid a decline in violence between forces loyal to Bashar al Assad and rebels.