Syrian regime blocks aid convoy from entering besieged town

The Red Cross and United Nations say Syrian regime blocked an aid convoy from entering a besieged Syrian town, where hundreds and thousands are in need of humanitarian aid.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man rides a bicycle past a damaged building in Daraya, near Damascus February 2, 2014.

An aid convoy was refused entry to a besieged Syrian town on Thursday, the Red Cross and United Nations said, blocking what would have been the first supplies to its residents for more than three years.

The organisations said their joint delivery was stopped at the last regime checkpoint on the way into Daraya, on the outskirts of Damascus. The town is held by oppositions and besieged by pro-regime forces.

The United Nations said this month that Syrian regime was refusing UN demands to deliver aid to hundreds of thousands of people.

"Civilians trapped here are in need of humanitarian aid. We were hoping that today's delivery of life-saving assistance would have been a first step and lead to more aid being allowed in,” said Yacoub El Hillo, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria.

UN experts estimate around 4,000 civilians are trapped in Daraya. In total, UN aid convoys still did not have regime permission to reach around half the 905,000 people they want to help, senior UN official Jan Egeland told reporters in Geneva on Thursday, before news emerged of the blocked convoy.

Syrian regime has not yet granted permission for aid to go to besieged Syrian town Daraya.

Regime forces continue shelling

Regime forces shelled parts of Daraya on Thursday, at least two people were killed and five others were wounded, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group.

Another air strike, carried out by the Syrian regime forces took place in the opposition held area of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and opposition sources.  At least five people were killed in the air strike, the British-based Observatory said. The air strike was carried out after the 48-hour truce ended in the city of Aleppo.

TRTWorld, Reuters