Assad forces ‘bombed Daraya’ after food delivery

Assad's forces bombarded the town, dropping indiscriminate barrel bombs from helicopters as residents shared food. (File photo: Reuters)

The United States condemned Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime Friday, accusing it of bombing starving civilians just hours after they received a long-delayed UN aid shipment.

Late on Thursday, the besieged rebel-held town of Daraya received its first United Nations food delivery since 2012, a lifeline for the suffering population.

Shortly afterwards, according to a witness and human rights monitors, Assad's forces bombarded the town, dropping indiscriminate barrel bombs from helicopters as residents shared food.

"The Syrian regime conducted multiple barrel bomb attacks on Daraya this morning," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"That came just hours after the UN convoy arrived," he told reporters.

Vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations wait on a street after an aid convoy entered the rebel-held Syrian town of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus, on June 1, 2016. (AFP)

Vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations wait on a street after an aid convoy entered the rebel-held Syrian town of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus, on June 1, 2016. (AFP)

"Obviously such attacks are unacceptable in any circumstance but in this case they also hampered the delivery and distribution of badly needed assistance."

Toner said the fact that Assad had allowed the convoy in to the town at all was "positive, but only a partial delivery and we would call for the rest of the supplies to be delivered as as soon as possible."

And he said that only the United Nations should decide where and when to distribute aid inside Syria and that the fate of hungry populations must not be left to the regime.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also voiced outrage. He accused Damascus of “extraordinary duplicity”, saying the regime had finally granted access for aid after heavy international pressure “and then the bombing restarted.”
 

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