UN: Aleppo-bound aid 'stuck at border for 48 hours'

UN: Aleppo-bound aid 'stuck at border for 48 hours'
Despite the hold up, a high-level UN official expressed hope that the aid convoy, currently waiting in a "buffer zone" between Syria and Turkey would be delivered on Friday.
2 min read
15 September, 2016
Despite setbacks the UN says a ceasefire that began Monday is "largely holding" [Getty]
A convoy of 20 aid trucks destined for opposition-held Eastern Aleppo has been stuck in no-man's-land between Turkey and Syria having crossed the Turkish border, a high-level UN official said on Thursday.

"They are in the buffer zone between the Turkish and Syrian border," Jan Egeland, head of the United Nations humanitarian taskforce for Syria, told reporters.

"They've been waiting and sleeping at the border now for 48 hours."

Egeland added that the trucks were ready to head onwards to Aleppo at "a minute's notice", expressing hope that the aid could be delivered on Friday.

Last week, the UN's envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, warned that aid could not move into Syria's second city until the Castello Road, the main thoroughfare linking besieged Eastern Aleppo with the Turkish border, had been fully secured - a condition of the US-Russian brokered truce agreed in Geneva.

Commenting on the efficacy of the truce, Egeland said that despite setbacks in the delivery of aid it was "largely holding" noting that there had been "no reports on civilian killings in the last 24 hours. Attacks on schools, attacks on hospitals have stopped".

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.

On Thursday, de Mistura accused the Syrian government of breaking pledges made in the US-Russia ceasefire agreement on the distribution of potentially life-saving aid in the war-torn country, calling for it to cooperate "immediately".

A Russian Defence Ministry statement, meanwhile, accused the United States of "rhetorical fog" over its commitment to upholding the ceasefire agreement, claiming that Syrian opposition movements "controlled by the US" had already violated its terms.