UN parachutes food aid into Syrian city besieged by DAESH

UN says it delivered food supplies via air drops into Syrian city besieged by DAESH

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

UN vehicles escorting a Red Crescent convoy carrying humanitarian aid in Syria.

The United Nations announced that it delivered food supplies to thousands of victims in the Syrian city of Deir al Zor besieged by DAESH on Sunday.

The delivery of 26 pallets loaded with 20 tonnes of food came after an opposition official warned that a cessation of hostilities in Syria's civil war was about to collapse.

Food supplies were parachuted to the people in a bid to ease more than two years of blockades and shortages, during this time many in the eastern city have been eating grass and wild vegetation, the UN World Food Program  (WFP) reported.

Last week, international efforts to get more aid into the war-torn region also took a hit when Syria's regime rejected UN requests to deliver help to several towns besieged by its forces.

"The airdrop was the first time WFP food assistance has reached besieged parts of the city since March 2014," the WFP said in a statement.

It also said that more food supplies via air drops were planned in the coming days and 22 of the pallets had already been picked up by Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers.

Humanitarian aid through air drops are the last resort for delivering assistance because they are haphazard, expensive and can provide only a fraction of what can be supplied by a convoy of trucks.  

The surrounding area of Deir al Zor province is important for DAESH, linking its de facto capital in Raqqa with its terrorists in Iraq.

The UN estimates the death toll in Syria, since the start of the war in 2011 to be at least 250,000. But the Syrian Centre for Policy Research released a report on February 10 stating that the death toll has now exceeded 470,000.

Around 5 million Syrians have taken refuge in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, with Turkey hosting the largest number at around 3 million.

TRTWorld, Reuters