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Relief groups launch largest Syria aid delivery yet

AFP
Published : Apr 22, 2016, 1:33 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2016, 1:33 am IST

Aid groups launched their largest delivery of assistance yet in war-torn Syria on Thursday after the UN evacuated hundreds of besieged residents, intensifying relief efforts even as peace talks falter

Aid groups launched their largest delivery of assistance yet in war-torn Syria on Thursday after the UN evacuated hundreds of besieged residents, intensifying relief efforts even as peace talks falter.

The International Com-mittee of the Red Cross said that the 65-truck convoy of food and medicines to the besieged rebel-held town of Rastan was the first aid it had been able to deliver to the area’s 1,20,000 residents since 2012. Earlier, the UN evacuated 500 people “in urgent need of life-saving medical attention,” and their families, from four other besieged towns, two held by the government and two by rebels. More than four million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas with little or no access to food or medicines.

ICRC spokesman Pawel Krzysiek said Thursday’s convoy was carrying food parcels, wheat flour and other nutritional items, as well as medicines and eq-uipment to improve water supply in Rastan, a rebel-held enclave in the central province of Homs that has been under Army siege since 2012. “This is the largest joint humanitarian convoy we have done in Syria so far,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that Russia “despite the announced partial withdrawal, maintains a considerable military presence in support of the Assad regime in Syria”.

Location: Turkey, Ankara