2016-12-02 11:29:00

UN: Russia to open corridors to besieged Syrian city

(Vatican Radio) The United Nations says Russia has indicated it is ready to discuss opening four safe corridors to the besieged, rebel-held east of the Syrian city of Aleppo where more than a quarter of a million people are trapped, and injured people can't be reached. 

As residents revealed massive suffering, The UN's special advisor on Syria, Jan Egeland, said Russia appeared ready to open corridors to allow increasingly desperate civilians to flee rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos:

Egeland spoke to media amid reports that Russian-backed Syrian government forces have retaken more than a third of eastern Aleppo since the weekend. "The Russian Federation announced that...they want to sit down in Aleppo with our people there to discuss how we can use the four corridors to evacuate people out,” added Egeland, who also heads the UN-backed humanitarian taskforce for Syria. 

“We have at least 400 wounded that need immediate medical evacuation,” Egeland said, adding that there would also be discussions on using “these corridors to get medical supplies and food in.”

He added that conditions were now so dire that medical operations were being conducted without anaesthetics. 


International aid can't come soon enough for residents such as 26-year-old Lina Shamy who spoke to the BBC network from inside eastern Aleppo. "All hospitals in the city are out of service. Civil defence and ambulance systems have lost more than half of their equipment," she said. 

"Till yesterday night there were 35 civilians stuck under the wreckage. And ambulance systems and civil defence couldn't reach them. Also sometimes ambulance response happens on foot because there is no transportation and no [adequate] equipment," the resident added.    

Without access to her and many others in the east, UN aid agencies are strengthening their presence in government-controlled western Aleppo.

Special adviser Egeland said the UN has enough food stored in the west to feed 150,000 people in the east, as well as medical supplies to cover their needs.

Some 27,000 people somehow managed to flee the east for government- and Kurdish-controlled areas since the weekend. But they are joining 400,000 long-term displaced people already in the west of the city.

Aleppo was once Syria's largest city and its commercial and industrial hub before the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011. It has been divided in roughly two for the past four years. But observers say that in the past 11 months, Syrian troops have broken 
the deadlock with the help of Iranian-backed militias and Russian air strikes, adding to rising death toll and more misery among the living.


All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.