Humanitarian aid convoys to set off for Syrian towns

At least 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid are scheduled to set off for the besieged areas of war-hit Syria from the capital, Damascus.

The aid convoys are slated to head for the five towns of Dayr al-Zawr, Madaya, Zabadani, Kafr Batna, and Mu’adamiyat al-Sham as well as two militant-besieged villages of Fuaa and Kefraya on Wednesday.

Almost half a million people in Syria live in areas besieged by either the government or foreign-backed terrorist groups, according to the UN.

Damascus has pledged full cooperation with the UN and the Red Cross to deliver humanitarian aid to all civilians “without any discrimination,” including those in hard-to-reach areas.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government gave the green light to the aid convoys following a visit by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to Damascus.

It came a week ahead of a planned resumption of UN-backed peace negotiations between Syria’s warring sides. The peace talks are slated to restart in Geneva on February 25, after de Mistura suspended a previous round on February 3.


Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent unload aid parcels from a truck in the militant-held city of Douma, February 13, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On Friday, the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in the German city of Munich agreed to seek a nationwide “cessation of hostilities” and to accelerate and expand aid deliveries. The deal is due to come into force later this week.

The ISSG said in a statement that the planned ceasefire in Syria does not include areas held by groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council, including Daesh and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

By Press TV