Medical aid reaches besieged Syrian city

World Health Organisation delivers emergency medical supplies to besieged Syrian city Mouadamiya

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A convoy carrying humanitarian goods wait to enter the besieged area of Mouadamiya, Syria February 17, 2016.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) delivered urgently needed medicines to the besieged Syrian city of Mouadamiya on Wednesday (March 2), a spokesman for the organisation said.

Mouadamiya, on the southwestern side of Damascus, has been under the control of opposition forces since mid-2012.

Syrian regime forces surrounded the city in 2013 but only began allowing aid access in mid-2014 under a local deal. This was until they closed the only entry point in late December, after allowing 50-100 regime employees to leave. According to the United Nations, other civilians were not warned of the closure.

"We received permission to bring in medical items to Mouadamiya, medical items that have not been allowed into these besieged areas in previous convoys. We are talking here about antibiotics and analgesics," said Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesman.

In February WHO had delivered 15 tons of medical supplies to Mouadamiya but some vital medicines were removed, leaving thousands of people without vital medical support, said the health organisation in a statement.

The UN said the recent closure had led to severe shortages of food, medicines and other basic needs in the city that was already in a dire condition.

Mouadamiya which received its last food delivery on February 17, has not had electricity since November 2012, as most people are forced to fetch untreated water from wells.

Syria is currently in a full blown civil war between five main factions - the regime, the opposition, Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, DAESH, and the YPG militants.

According to the recent estimations by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the war in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 470,000 people.

On Tuesday, UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura announced that the next round of peace talks concerning the conflict in Syria, which were previously scheduled on March 7, will begin on March 9.

An US-Russian agreement for a cessation of hostilities in Syria came into effect on February 27 and will last two weeks. Despite several reported violations, the deal seems to be holding "by and large," UN chief Ban Ki moon said on Monday.


TRTWorld and agencies