World, Middle East

UN suspends humanitarian task force in Syria

Fighting preventing convoys from reaching besieged areas, says UN envoy

18.08.2016
UN suspends humanitarian task force in Syria

Istanbul

By Betul Yuruk 

GENEVA

The UN’s Syria envoy on Thursday said ongoing fighting in besieged parts of the country had forced the organization to suspend its humanitarian aid convoys.

Staffan de Mistura said convoys had been unable to reach parts of war-torn Syria for a month, especially Aleppo.

"Tomorrow is World Humanitarian Day, but in Syria we witness conflict, attacks, barrel bombs, chlorine gas, air strikes and suicide attacks," de Mistura told reporters in Geneva on Thursday.

He said a 48-hour cease-fire in Aleppo would be the main focus of the UN task force.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests which had erupted as part of that year’s "Arab Spring" uprisings.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to UN figures.

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