ADDS US REACTION
By Fatih Erel
GENEVA (AA) - The UN said Friday that international aid had reached the besieged Syrian town of Daraya for the first time since 2012.
“A joint UN Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy delivered food for 2,400 people in Daraya overnight. Food was a standard for WFP’s [World Food Programme] monthly ration, which also contains wheat flour. Other relief included nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene and non-food supplies for 4,000 which is the estimated population of Daraya," Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press conference in Geneva.
“We, of course, call for unconditional, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to all people in need, wherever they are, but particular in besieged and hard-to-reach areas where we have still about 4.6 million people living in these conditions in Syria and that the heart of this issue is: the sieges must be lifted," Laerke said.
Daraya, southwest of the Syrian capital, has been under siege by the regime forces since November 2012.
According to the UN, nearly 600,000 people are currently living under siege in Syria.
"Due to the limited time that is given by the government for aid deliveries, no assessment of the condition of the population in Daraya was possible," Laerke noted.
According to local sources in Daraya, 32 crude explosives were dropped right after the UN delivered food in Daraya.
The U.S. State Department said such attacks were "unacceptable in any circumstance," but they have also hampered the delivery and distribution of "badly needed assistance".
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime ferociously cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN, which stopped counting two years ago.