UN says ‘ready’ to resume Syria aid convoys
The United Nations on Thursday said it was ready to resume humanitarian convoys in Syria, after an attack on aid trucks and a warehouse that left 20 people dead, triggered suspension of deliveries.
“The preparation for these convoys has now resumed and we are ready to deliver aid to besieged
and hard-to-reach areas as soon as possible,” the UN’s humanitarian office (OCHA) said in a statement.
The Monday attacks came as relief supplies intended for Syrian civilians were being unloaded at the warehouse Orum al-Kubra, a town in Aleppo province.
Those killed included volunteers as well as a Syrian Arab Red Crescent staffer. The UN announced it was suspending all deliveries on Wednesday morning and called for an investigation.
Meanwhile, food aid for rebel-held east Aleppo, which has been stalled at the Syrian border since last week, will go bad on Monday, the UN said on Thursday, urging the country’s leader to clear the delivery.
“Forty trucks are sitting at the Turkish-Syrian border. The food will be expiring on Monday,” the head of the United Nations humanitarian taskforce for Syria, Jan Egeland, said.
“The drivers are sleeping at the border and they have done so now for now a week, so please, President Assad, do your bit to enable us to get to eastern Aleppo and also the other besieged areas,” Egeland added, in a direct appeal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Boosting aid deliveries has become a top priority of the United Nations in Syria, with convoys repeatedly blocked for security reasons, refusals by the Syrian government to grant authorisation and strict conditions imposed by opposition groups.