The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a joint aid convoy of the ICRC, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations (UN) in Syria was refused entry to Daraya on Thursday at the last regime checkpoint, despite having obtained prior clearance by all parties that it could proceed.
A joint statement by the ICRC and the United Nations in Syria late Thursday said: “Daraya has been the site of relentless fighting for more than three and a half years, and we know the situation there is desperate. Civilians trapped here are in need of humanitarian aid. We were hoping that today’s delivery of life-saving assistance would have been a first step and lead to more aid being allowed in. The UN continues to call for all parties to lift sieges on civilians in Syria.”
“The convoy was due to provide essential medical supplies to the town’s health facility, distribute nutrition items for children and lead a vaccination campaign for children under 12, as well as distribute hygiene materials. This would have been the first ever aid delivery to the town, which has been under siege since November 2012,” the statement added.
The statement pointed out that “communities in Daraya are in need of everything, and it’s tragic that even the basics we were bringing today are being delayed unnecessarily. We must be able to provide aid impartially and safely. There must be minimum conditions for independent humanitarian action in Syria. Today those conditions were not met. We urge the responsible parties to grant us this access immediately.”
Shortly after the aid convoy turned back to Damascus, regime forces bombed the place where civilians were gathering to collect relief aid with several mortar shells, killing two civilians, a father and his son, and wounding five others.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Muwaffaq Nyrabiya on Friday said that the blocking of aid convoys by regime forces from entering Daraya and the targeting afterwards of civilians in the area is a deliberate “war crime.” He added that regime actions in Daraya provide yet further proof it will not negotiate in good faith.
Nyrabiya called upon the UN Security Council to find alternative solutions to protect the Syrian people and to put an end to the Assad regime’s blatant disregard for the political process. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Al-Jazeera)