Western powers call for humanitarian air drops to besieged regions in Syria

Posted On: 
2nd June 2016

America, Britain and France have called for the United Nations to drop humanitarian aid from the air to besieged regions in Syria.

The UN fears around 600,000 Syrians live in beseiged regions
PA Images

They said the war-torn country's government had breached the 1 June deadline to distribute aid, with only a small amount of relief delivered.

A convoy to Darrya, a town near Damascus whose electricity supply was cut off more than three years ago, did not carry any food, but instead contained vaccines, baby milk, medicine and nutritional goods.

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The UN Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the possibility of air drops.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond condemned as “cynical” the distribution of aid on the 1 June deadline by the international Syria Support Group (ISSG).

"While air drops are complex, costly and risky, they are now the last resort to relieve human suffering across many besieged areas," he said.

US State department spokesman John Kirby said the UN food agency, the World Food programme, had informed officials of how air drops could be conducted.

He said hundreds of thousands of Syrian need “sustained and regular” access to aid.

The ISSG includes 17 world and regional powers, the European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League. It is also co-chaired by the US and Russia.

Russia’s defence ministry said it agreed a pause with Syrian authorities to allow the teams from the UN, he International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent to distribute aid on Wednesday in Darayya.

The UN says there are around 4.6 million people living in difficult to access areas, with 600,000 in besieged regions.