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Journalists and civilians stand near the damage after rockets fired by insurgents hit the al-Dabit maternity clinic in  government-held parts of Aleppo city, Syria. (File Photo)
Journalists and civilians stand near the damage after rockets fired by insurgents hit the al-Dabit maternity clinic in  government-held parts of Aleppo city, Syria. (File Photo)

UN: All Syria Parties Must Commit to Aleppo Aid Truce

No aid had been delivered in August to nearly one million Syrians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas

UN: All Syria Parties Must Commit to Aleppo Aid Truce

The United Nations is ready to deliver aid into Syria’s Aleppo, but needs commitments from all parties in the war—not just Russia—to abide by a 48-hour humanitarian truce, the UN aid chief, angered by lack of assistance to civilians, said on Monday.
Aleppo, Syria’s most populous prewar city and its commercial hub, has become the focus of fighting in the five-year-old civil war. Up to 2 million people on both sides do not have clean water after infrastructure was damaged in bombing, Reuters reported.
Russia, which has been backing Syrian government forces with a bombing campaign, said on Thursday it supported the truce. The United Nations wants a weekly two-day halt in fighting to allow access to militant-held eastern and government-controlled western Aleppo.
“While this (Russian) statement is positive, this cannot be a one-sided offer,” the aid chief, Stephen O’Brien, told the UN Security Council. “Once we have the green light, we can start to move assistance within 48 to 72 hours.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned last week of an unprecedented “humanitarian catastrophe” in Aleppo and urged Russia and the United States to quickly reach a deal on a ceasefire in the city and elsewhere in the country.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have been discussing the issue. The United States, which supports some Syrian opposition groups, has been bombing IS militants in Syria. IS militants have used the chaos, caused by the 5-year conflict, to seize territory in Syria and Iraq.
O’Brien said no aid had been delivered in August to nearly one million people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas because of fighting and government bureaucracy.
“I’m angry, I’m very angry,” O’Brien said. “This callous carnage that is Syria has long since moved from cynical to sinful.”
Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the council that the Syrian government was not responsible for an airstrike in militant-held al-Qaterji neighborhood last week. A video of a dazed and bloodied Syrian boy—Omran Daqneesh—after he was pulled from the rubble of an airstrike in that neighborhood last Wednesday shocked people around the world.
“The perpetrator must be elsewhere,” Ja’afari said.

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