Syria conflict: US pledges $360m in additional humanitarian aid — Aleppo under siege — Fighting “claiming more victims every day” — “Obama spit in the bucket? Terrific.”


BBC News

Syrians react as the bodies of children are pulled from the rubble of a building following air strikes in the rebel-held area of Aleppo on 27 September

Attacks continued on Tuesday and one air raid killed 12 people from two families, activists say. AFP photo

The US has pledged to provide $364m (£276m) more in humanitarian aid to people affected by the war in Syria.

The funds, officials say, will help the UN and other charities provide food, safe water and medical care to those in the country and refugees in the region.

Meanwhile, Syrian forces have made advances in the centre of Aleppo after days of heavy air strikes, reports say.

Photo: Aleppo

And the World Health Organization has called for safe evacuation routes out of the city for the injured and sick.

A spokeswoman said there were only 35 doctors left to care for hundreds of trapped patients, and the number of casualties was rising.

Medical supplies were running out and there was a shortage of blood, she added.

Russian-backed Syrian government forces launched an assault on rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo on Thursday after a truce collapsed.

Since then, the intense and sustained aerial bombardment of Aleppo and its surrounding countryside has killed at least 248 people, almost all of them civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group.

The US and its allies, who support the rebels fighting the Syrian government, have said the attacks constitute war crimes and accused Russia of “barbarism”. Moscow has vigorously denied the allegations and criticised their “unacceptable” rhetoric.

The additional aid announced on Tuesday would bring the total US humanitarian spending for Syria to about $5.9bn (£4.5bn), the state department said.

‘Worrisome situation’

Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city and the country’s commercial and industrial hub, has been divided roughly in two since 2012, with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces controlling the west and rebel factions the east.

In the past year, government troops have gradually broken the deadlock with the help of Iranian-backed militias and Russian air strikes. Earlier this month, they severed the rebels’ last route into the east and placed its 250,000 residents under siege.

Syrian civilians and rescuers gather at site of air strikes in the rebel held neighbourhood of Al-Shaar in Aleppo on 27 September

Residents of eastern Aleppo have described intense bombardments. AFP

On Tuesday, government forces were reportedly making advances in the centre of the city and also mobilising armoured vehicles and tanks.

This was the biggest assault by ground forces since the collapse of the ceasefire, Reuters reported, after several days of heavy airstrikes against rebel-held areas.

The military and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army had made some gains, but rebels disputed this, the news agency said.

Aleppo and surrounding area map

At a news conference in Geneva on Monday, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the escalation of fighting was “claiming more victims every day”, and called for the “immediate establishment of humanitarian routes”.

“It’s a worrisome situation.”

Many streets are now blocked by rubble, meaning ambulances cannot get through.

All of the 25 functioning or partially functioning medical centres are on the verge of complete destruction, according to the WHO.

Both the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been calling for humanitarian corridors into Aleppo for several weeks, but so far those calls have been ignored, the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva.


Peace and Freedom commentary

We told an American aid worker in Aleppo about the latest from the U.S. and he said, “Obama spit in the bucket? Terrific.”



Syria — Destroyed aid trucks stand near the rebel-held town of Urum al-Kubra. September 20, 2016. The US, UK and France said Russia bombed the humanitarian aid convoy. Russia denied the charge. Reuters

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One Response to “Syria conflict: US pledges $360m in additional humanitarian aid — Aleppo under siege — Fighting “claiming more victims every day” — “Obama spit in the bucket? Terrific.””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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