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First UN aid convoy enters Syria from Turkey

AFP | Last Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 01:15

United Nations: A first convoy of humanitarian aid crossed into Syria from Turkey on Thursday under a new UN-authorized plan to send relief without Damascus` approval.

"Nine trucks crossed at Bab Al-Salam into Syria this morning," said Amanda Pitt of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"They were carrying food, shelter, water and sanitation supplies," she told AFP.

The UN Security Council last week adopted a resolution authorizing the cross-border aid deliveries without the consent of the Damascus regime, to help more than one million civilians.

More aid deliveries are due to leave from three other crossing points -- Bab Al-Hawa in Turkey, Al-Ramtha in Jordan and Al-Yarubiyah in Iraq -- in the coming months.

More than 10.8 million Syrians are in need of aid, according to UN officials, who have accused Damascus of impeding deliveries of life-saving supplies.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council on Thursday that Syrian government forces were stepping up their attacks on hospitals and clinics, and blocking deliveries of medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas.

Ban accused all sides of increasingly targeting vital services such as water stations and electric cables, compounding the humanitarian crisis.

In June alone, there were 12 attacks on medical facilities, the second highest number since December 2012 and all were committed by government forces, the report said, quoting Physicians for Human Rights.

The war in Syria, now in its fourth year, has left more than 170,000 dead.

First Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 01:15

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