The United Nations has reportedly given approval to Western countries to carry out air drops over besieged Syrian towns without regime permission, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
The UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O’Brien, reportedly wrote to the British government saying all options should be on the table: “We must be guided by the humanitarian imperative, and acknowledge the failure of negotiations over four years to secure the necessary access to these besieged areas. My advice would be that all options be considered as we must find a way to break this impasse.”
Following a briefing session at the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power paid particular attention to 15 areas under siege, saying the Assad regime is responsible for 12 of the blockades and that at least 35 people have died there since the beginning of December.
“All parties—in particular, the Syrian regime—must immediately comply with obligations under international humanitarian law and allow immediate, unconditional and unfettered access to humanitarian assistance by all those in need in Syria. The United Nations, relief agencies and the larger international community should not accept access on a piecemeal basis,” Power added.
British activists launched an online petition, on January 8, urging their government to start air dropping food supplies to starving Syrians living in besieged areas. The British government will have to respond to the petition if it gathers more than 10,000 signatures.
The Syrian Coalition had previously called on the United States to airdrop humanitarian aid to civilians trapped in the towns of Madaya, Zabadani, Moadamiya, Deir Ezzor and all besieged areas across Syria. It stressed the need for the international community to take a decisive position on the crimes committed by Hezbollah militias and the Assad regime against the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Telegraph)