• Fighting as Syria civilians await aid

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Tags:

    Fighting has erupted around besieged rebel-held districts of the Syrian city of Homs with the UN poised to deliver aid to desperate civilians on day two of a humanitarian truce.


    The regime and activists traded accusations over responsibility for the clashes, a day after 83 children, women and elderly people who had survived more than 600 days in the war-battered enclave were evacuated.

    The evacuation and planned aid delivery were made possible by a surprise UN-brokered deal between the government and rebel commanders on the ground to observe a three-day “humanitarian pause” in hostilities.

    But five explosions were heard early on Saturday in the besieged neighbourhoods, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

    “The armed terrorist groups broke the truce this morning in the Old City of Homs by launching mortar rounds at the police headquarters in the Saa area,” Homs provincial governor Talal al-Barazi said.

    State news agency SANA quoted him as saying military commanders were told to exercise maximum restraint “to allow the evacuation of civilians”.

    But activists accused regime forces of breaking the truce.

    “The besieged areas have been pounded with mortar rounds since Saturday morning,” the Unified Media Office activist group in the besieged areas of Homs said.

    “The shelling is also targeting the road on which the humanitarian aid is supposed to be transported,” the statement said.

    The exiled opposition expressed concern the promised aid delivery could be aborted, saying it would be “devastating to those innocent civilians who remain within the area under siege”.

    “We call on the world to look carefully at what happens in Homs in the coming hours and days.”

    Desperately needed food and medicines have been held up for months in a UN warehouse in a government-controlled area just kilometres from the trapped civilians, awaiting a ceasefire.

    UN officials said the trucks would carry emergency rations, medical kits and bedding, as well as cash and other support for the “immediate needs both of those who choose to be evacuated from the area and of those who remain inside”.

    Even after Friday’s evacuation of the first batch of civilians who chose to leave, hundreds more women, children and elderly remain among the 2500-plus residents still trapped.

    UN spokesman Farhan Haq said there had been sporadic shooting during Friday’s evacuation, but that both sides broadly observed the ceasefire.