Aid convoy enters besieged Damascus suburb

Convoy of 35 trucks carrying humanitarian aid enters besieged area of Damascus

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A Red Crescent convoy prepares to leave Damascus to the besieged areas of Madaya and Zabadani, on February 17, 2016.

A convoy of 35 trucks carrying humanitarian reliefs on Wednesday entered into a besieged area of Moudamiya al Sham in the suburbs of Syria's capital, the Syrian state news agency announced.

According to a Syrian Arab Red Crescent source, nine out of 35 aid trucks crossed a checkpoint to enter the suburb Mouadamiya al Sham late on the same day.

More than 100 trucks containing humanitarian assistance were getting ready to depart for besieged areas of Syria from Damascus, the Syrian Red Crescent stated earlier, in the latest delivery of supplies to trapped residents.

The Syrian regime reacted after international criticism arose when photos of children suffering from malnutrition in Madaya hit social media and the UN slammed the regime’s besiegement of several towns.

The regime approved access to seven besieged areas in the conflict-torn country on Tuesday.

Increased condemnation, on a global scale, forced the regime to provide access to several besieged areas.

After crisis talks in Damascus on Tuesday, the UN said the Assad regime had approved access to seven besieged areas.

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said, while in doubt of the regime’s credibility, the world body would test the regime's commitment to allow access on Wednesday.

Their meeting in Damascus came at a time when regime forces have been advancing against the opposition with the aid of Russian air strikes.

De Mistura said the duty of the Syrian regime should be "to want to reach every Syrian person wherever they are and allow the UN to bring humanitarian aid," he said in a statement.

UN backed peace talks are scheduled to resume in Geneva on Feb. 25, after de Mistura suspended a first round earlier this month.

Global powers meeting in Munich agreed to the pause in fighting last Friday, in the hope that talks could resume, but the deal has not yet been signed by the Syrian opposition.

UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told a news briefing "The reason [de Mistura] suspended [the talks] was, as you know, that cities were still being bombed, people were still being starved on the ground."

The regime of Bashar al Assad has been accused of being responsible for the birth of the Syrian civil-war, which erupted following a violent crackdown on nationwide protests by its forces.

US President Barack Obama said in November last year during an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Manila that "Assad must go" for the civil war in Syria to end and called on the two main allies of Assad - Russia and Iran, to decide whether they want to "save the Syrian state" or prop up the regime.

Over 8 million Syrians have been internally displaced by the conflict and according to the UN up to 4.5 million people in Syria live in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 400,000 people in 15 besieged locations who do not have access to aid they urgently need.

TRTWorld and agencies