Darayya convoy failure underscores the need to prepare for airdrops

Image: Verwoeste huizen in Darayya, volgens activisten door raketten van het Syrische regeringsleger, december 2012. Foto Flickr.com CC / www.flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/

May 13, 2016

The first humanitarian aid mission to Darayya since 2012 ended in failure yesterday, after government forces insisted on removing all medical supplies except for vaccines from the inter-agency UN and ICRC/SARC convoy. The convoy reportedly only contained medical and school supplies to begin with, as food items had not been approved by the Syrian government.

After the convoy finally turned back from the checkpoint around 6pm, the Syrian military launched a barrage of at least nine mortars at Darayya, targeting the area where civilians had been gathering to await the delivery of the humanitarian supplies. The attack killed two and wounded five. 

The denial of access to Darayya comes only days after the US and Russia committed to pressing the parties to ensure continuous delivery of assistance to the 18 areas recognised by the UN as besieged. It shows the international community must take more forceful action to break the siege of Darayya by initiating preparations for air drops. There’s a consensus amongst the humanitarian community that the siege of Darayya serves no military goal but is a collective punishment. 

Follow @SiegeWatch on Twitter for more day to day updates on the situation. A new Siege Watch report of PAX and TSI will come out next month. 

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