Food aid for Aleppo still stuck on Syria border
Aleppo (Syria) (AFP)
Food aid for desperate civilians in eastern Aleppo remained stuck on the Syrian border on Friday, the fourth morning of a fragile internationally-brokered truce in the war-ravaged country.
An AFP correspondent said no movement could be seen on the rubble-strewn Castello Road, the main route for humanitarian assistance in to divided Aleppo.
The UN had hoped that forty trucks of food -- enough to feed 80,000 people for one month -- could be delivered to besieged rebel-held eastern parts of Aleppo as soon as possible.
On Friday morning, the trucks were still waiting at the border with Turkey, said David Swanson, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"The challenge we continue to face -- and this is the very sad reality -- is ensuring all parties to the conflict, and those with influence over them, are in agreement," he told AFP.
An estimated 250,000 people still live in east Aleppo.
Under the US-Russia truce deal, the Castello Road leading into those neighbourhoods would be demilitarised and aid convoys would enter from Turkey.
Russia on Thursday said government forces had begun to withdraw from the area and accused rebel fighters of failing to pull back as agreed.
"As humanitarians this is immensely frustrating. We're here, we're on the ground and we're ready to move... The world is watching," Swanson said.
The ceasefire deal calls for the truce to be renewed every 48 hours, and for Washington and Moscow to begin unprecedented joint targeting of jihadists if it lasts a week.
The cessation of hostilities appears to be largely holding across the country, though Syria's mainstream opposition has yet to formally sign on.
More than 300,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011.
© 2016 AFP