Syria approves aid to three more besieged areas
Syrian permission has been granted for 15 of the 17 besieged areas for which the United Nations has requested access
The United Nations said Wednesday it has received approval from the Syrian government for aid deliveries to three more besieged areas including Daraya where there have been no humanitarian supplies of food since 2012.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Damascus regime had given the green light for convoys to reach Daraya, Douma and Moadamiyeh, which are under siege by government forces.
Syrian permission has been granted for 15 of the 17 besieged areas for which the United Nations has requested access, said Dujarric. The government has rejected requests for aid convoys to Al’Waer in the Homs region of western Syria and Zabadani in rural Damascus. “We are continuing to seek permission for those areas for land convoys,” he said.
A UN aid convoy reached the town of Daraya on June 1 but it delivered only medical supplies and no food to the town that has been siege by the regime since late 2012.
The United Nations has said it will consider carrying out airdrops and airlifts of aid to besieged towns, but this would require the approval of the Syrian regime.
At least 592,000 people live under siege in Syria -- the majority surrounded by regime forces -- and another four million live in hard-to-reach areas, according to the United Nations.
Western diplomats are skeptical of the Syrian approvals, noting that in the past aid convoys that had received the government’s consent were stripped of vital supplies before they reached their destination.