Besieged Syrian town gets first food aid since 2012, then gets bombed

The New York Times reports: Relief trucks delivered food aid for the first time in four years to Daraya, the rebel-held Syrian town just outside of Damascus that has come to symbolize civilian suffering in the war, the United Nations said Friday.

But even as the relief convoy’s success was announced by the World Food Program, the United Nations anti-hunger agency, residents of Daraya were reporting that Syrian military aircraft were bombing the town, making it difficult to distribute the food. They also said the amount delivered was roughly half of what was needed.

“People didn’t come in large numbers to receive the convoy, they were afraid of the bombing,” Amjad Abbar, a member of a local council in Daraya, said by telephone, with sounds of explosions and aircraft heard in the background. “Several barrel bombs have fallen,” he said.

News of the bombing nearly overshadowed the aid delivery, provoking anger among some Western powers hostile to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

“It is an extraordinary duplicity of the regime which we are witnessing,” Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France said at the United Nations, where he was visiting to preside over a Security Council meeting on protection of civilians in armed conflict. [Continue reading…]

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