Russia: Humanitarian Aid in Syria’s Aleppo Used as Political Ploy

Russia: Humanitarian Aid in Syria’s Aleppo Used as Political Ploy
Wed Nov 30, 2016 20:05:32

Russia says the issue of aid delivery in Syria is becoming highly politicized as most UN humanitarian aid goes to the areas occupied by foreign-backed militants.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said only one percent of the UN aid supplies was being directed to the western city of Dayr al-Zawr, where at least 200,000 people trapped by the Daesh (ISIS / ISIL) Takfiri terror group remain in desperate need of help.

She added that most UN aid was being sent to militant-held areas, including areas controlled by the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

The report comes as the humanitarian situation in the terrorist-held parts of Aleppo City in northwestern Syria has been the focus of attention, with rights groups warning of a humanitarian disaster there.

Aleppo, once Syria’s second largest city, has been the scene of fighting between Syrian forces and terrorists.

It has been divided over the past four years between Damascus forces in the west and terrorists in the east, making it a front line battleground.

Backed by Russian air cover, the Syrian army in September launched operations to reunite the divided northwestern city.

Syrian government forces walk past damaged houses as they approach the Baeedin district in eastern Aleppo, near Masaken Hanano, which is still under the control of militants, on November 23, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The army has set up several humanitarian corridors to facilitate the exit of civilians from the occupied parts of Aleppo.

However, reports coming of the embattled city say militants are preventing the civilians from fleeing the eastern parts, using them as human shields to slow down the advances of government forces.

A day earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Syrian army had recently reestablished control over half of the areas that had been under the control of militants in the east of the northern city of Aleppo.

On Tuesday, the UN said up to 16,000 civilians have fled the militant-held parts of eastern Aleppo amid the Syrian army’s recent gains there.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that some 50,000 people have fled eastern Aleppo for government-controlled parts in the last four days.

In another development earlier in the day, at least seven civilians were killed and eight others were injured in mortar attacks by militants against three neighborhoods in Aleppo.

Elsewhere, government forces retook Tal al-Eyn, a hilly area that lies on a road linking Dali and al-Faqi’ townships on the northern outskirts of the city of Dara’a.

S/SH 11

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