Red Crescent delivers aid to besieged Syrian town

Syria's Red Crescent delivers aid to Al-Tal, located outside Damascus and currently under a government siege.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Red Crescent ambulance (archive)
Red Crescent ambulance (archive)
Reuters

Syria's Red Crescent on Tuesday delivered aid to a town under government siege outside the capital Damascus, aid workers and a monitor said, according to AFP.

"The Syrian Arab Red Crescent today entered Al-Tal, and delivered 14 trucks of aid provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross," said ICRC spokesman Pawel Krzysiek.

He said the delivery included food and hygiene kits for some 3,500 families, as well as 25 metric tons of bulk food for a collective kitchen in the town.

Al-Tal, north of Damascus, is controlled by rebels including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, and has been under siege for five months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor which also reported the delivery.

The issue of sieges in Syria's war has been a key sticking point at fresh talks being convened in Geneva on a political solution to the conflict.

The UN says some 486,700 people in Syria are living under sieges imposed by the government, rebels or the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

A total of 4.6 million people live in so-called "hard-to-reach" areas, including those under siege, where food and medicine is hard to come by.

Syria's main opposition umbrella group has refused to begin new peace talks with the regime until UN Security Council resolutions calling for the lifting of sieges in Syria are implemented.

The issue has gained increasing prominence with reports of dozens of deaths from starvation in the town of Madaya, which is under government siege.

Syria's government agreed on Monday to allow aid into several besieged areas, including Madaya, the UN said, as an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of peace talks.

Doctors without Borders (MSF) said late last week that at least 16 people have died since three aid convoys entered the town near the Lebanese border on January 11.

Madaya has been under siege by government forces and Hezbollah fighters since July.

It was estimated just before the January 11 convoy that 42,000 people in Madaya had little or no access to food, resulting in the deaths of at least 28 people by starvation. 

AFP contributed to this report.



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