UN blames all sides af­ter Syria evac­u­a­tion plan fails

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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