UN blames all sides after Syria evacuation plan fails
THE United Nations blamed all sides in Syria after it failed to secure agreement to evacuate critically injured and sick Syrians from Aleppo.
UN aid agencies, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the Red Cross and other medical groups held days of negotiations to try to secure safe passage for the sick and wounded, but the effort came to a halt when fighting resumed.
“It is deeply regrettable that no patients or accompanying family members could be moved,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN’s humanitarian aid coordinator.
“The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo,” he said.
Armed groups imposed conditions to guarantee the safety of the evacuation operation while the Syrian government refused to allow medical and other aid supplies into the rebel-held east of the city, Mr O’Brien added.
Russia, Syria’s main ally in the war against opposition rebels and jihadists, last week declared a humanitarian pause in the assault on eastern Aleppo, where more than 250,000 civilians have been trapped.
“After three days of lull, parties to the conflict have still not agreed, military operations have resumed and violence is now escalating,” said Mr O’Brien. “The political and military paths are trumping basic humanity once again in Syria.”
Russia has ruled out a renewal of the ceasefire and blamed rebel groups for blocking the medical evacuation.
UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon last week said nearly 500 people had been killed and about 2000 injured during the nearly monthlong bombing raids in Aleppo.
No UN aid convoy has entered Aleppo since July 7 and food rations will run out by the end of October, he warned. –