Blocking aid convoys 'breaches Syria ceasefire deal' says UN

Blocking aid convoys 'breaches Syria ceasefire deal' says UN
The UN's envoy to Syria urged the Assad government Thursday to allow humanitarian aid deliveries "immediately".
2 min read
15 September, 2016
de Mistura said that crucial time was being lost on the delivery of aid ([AFP])
The Syrian government must allow humanitarian aid deliveries "immediately", Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy on Syria, said on Thursday.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had broken pledges made in the US-Russia ceasefire agreement on the distribution of potentially life-saving aid in the war-torn country, de Mistura intimated. Crucial time is being lost, he added.

De Mistura said the Syrian government had not provided "facilitation letters" required in order to ensure the safe-passage of aid convoys.

"Those facilitation letters - ie  final permission for the UN to actually reach those areas - has not been received," the UN evoy told reporters in Geneva.

"This is something that requires to take place immediately," the UN official added - while denying that the truce negotiated through Moscow and Washington was collapsing.

"We cannot let days of this reduction of violence to be wasted by not moving forward."

Read more: UN presses US, Russia to facilitate Syria aid deliveries

A separate agreement to allow aid to reach east Aleppo, which remains under government siege, appears also at risk of foundering, with 20 UN trucks waiting to complete their deliveries to the 250,000 people trapped in the city.

While the deal agreed through US and Russian negotiators has succeeded in reducing levels of violence, it has yet to result in a total ceasefire.

After a couple of calm days in Aleppo, artillery shells were heard north of the city in rural areas on Thursday afternoon, residents told The New Arab.

No injuries have yet been reported.