Tuesday 16 January 2018

UN to resume aid convoys in Syria after deadly attack

An image shows damaged aid lorries in Aleppo (Aleppo 24 news/AP)
An image shows damaged aid lorries in Aleppo (Aleppo 24 news/AP)

The United Nations has said it will resume aid convoys within Syria after an attack on a convoy killed 20 people and prompted a temporary suspension.

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian aid agency, said "several" convoys are expected as early as Thursday, but did not specify where. He said the convoys would not go to Aleppo.

Monday night's attack in Aleppo province on a Red Crescent warehouse where UN aid was delivered killed 20 people and destroyed most of the goods.

In response, the UN suspended overland aid operations to priority areas in Syria pending a full security assessment.

Mr Laerke acknowledged that a full assessment had not been completed, but said the planned deliveries would take place now on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, a n air strike in northern Syria killed five medics responding to an earlier bombing raid, a relief group said.

The team had just arrived at the scene of the first air strike in the rebel-held town of Khan Touman when planes circled around and struck the area again, D Oubaida Al Moufti, vice president of the International Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations, said.

Syrian government forces have been accused of carrying out "double tap" attacks throughout the five-and-a-half-year war, placing paramedics and rescue workers in peril.

The organisation, known by its French initials UOSSM, had initially said that the Tuesday night strike levelled a medical triage point it operates in rebel-held territory outside Aleppo.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 people were killed in the attack, including nine militants, some of them belonging to the Fatah al-Sham Front, an al Qaida-linked group previously known as the Nusra Front.

Three nurses and two ambulance drivers died of their injuries, UOSSM said.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the strike. Aircraft from Syria, Russia and the US-led coalition are targeting the Fatah al-Sham Front, which along with the Islamic State group was excluded from a week-long ceasefire.


Press Association

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