An aid convoy was refused entry to Daraya west of Damascus on Thursday, the Red Cross said, dashing hopes for the first such delivery since regime forces began a siege of the rebel-held town in 2012.
The five-truck convoy organized by the ICRC, the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had been due to deliver baby milk and medical and school supplies to Daraya.
“We urge the responsible authorities to grant us access to Daraya, so we can return with desperately-needed food & medicines,” said the International Committee of the Red Cross after the convoy was refused entry.
The UN said it had decided against going ahead with the convoy after “nutrition items” were removed by regime forces.
“The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) aborted the mission to Daraya because the convoy was refused entry, due to the medical and nutritional supplies on board,” the United Nations spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a written statement, referring to the town. “These conditions, imposed by government security personnel, were unacceptable, and contrary to earlier guarantees and approvals obtained by the Syrian government.”
Tammam Abdul Rahim, press officer of Shuhada’ Alislam Brigade, the largest rebel group in Daraya, said that the convoy passed through a number of regime checkpoints on its way into the town but was stopped at the last checkpoint despite obtaining prior clearance from regime forces.
Abdul Rahim added that the ICRC sent a letter of apology to the families of Darya for failing to enter the aid because of the ill-treatment at regime checkpoints. (Source: Agencies)