In a terrible setback for the war-torn state of Syria, the United Nations has suspended all aid shipments after 20 people were killed in an airstrike on a relief convoy on Monday. The attack on the UN and Red Crescent convoy came hours after Syria withdrew its support for the ceasefire agreement brokered by the United States and Russia. The Syrian army has denied the involvement of its forces in the incident. Reports indicate that the US and Russia are scheduled to discuss the situation in New York during the upcoming UN General Assembly. For the second time in less than three days, the ceasefire agreement is on the verge of a collapse, after US-led coalition planes struck Syrian army personnel on Sunday. Washington owned up to what it considered an "unintended mistake". But the attack on the UN relief convoy is nothing short of a war crime in a region desperate for medical and food supplies. Aid groups have said that the situation on the ground is beyond dire.
Recent estimates indicate that more than 13 million people require humanitarian assistance. Since the start of this brutal and complex civil war, approximately six million people have been forced to flee their homes. In the past six months alone, nearly 1 million of them have left their homes. Special attention needs to be diverted to 600,000 Syrians, who are living in besieged areas. They have little access to basic needs, living with the daily threat of brutal violence. In the eastern city of Aleppo, approximately 275,000 people have been entirely cut off from vital supplies, including food, water, medicine, and electricity for over a month. Amidst the crippling failure of the international community to establish a basic modicum of stability in the country, Washington has seen it fit to take their time to decide on continuing cooperation efforts with Russia. To the uninitiated, on September 10, both Moscow and Washington announced a ceasefire plan for the “cessation of hostilities” between the Syrian government and opposition militia in the war-torn country.