The Assad regime did not permit the inclusion of medical items in aid convoys bound to civilians in besieged areas, Stephene Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-general, said.
During a press briefing in the UN headquarters in New York, Dujarric said that this practice “continues to lead to unnecessary suffering and loss of life and the UN continues to press the Syrian Government to allow the inclusion of all necessary medical supplies and medicines in convoys.”
On May 12, the Assad regime refused entry of a joint aid convoy by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations (UN) to the town of Daraya west of Damascus despite having obtained prior clearance by all parties.
A joint statement by the ICRC and the United Nations in Syria said: “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.”
Shortly after the aid convoy turned back to Damascus, regime forces bombed the area where civilians gathered to collect relief aid with several mortar shells, killing 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 + Anadolu Agency)