Push for Aleppo aid drops using GPS-guided parachutes faces military and political resistance

The Guardian reports: Western diplomats have conceded that there are no technical obstacles to a plan to deliver airdrops of food and medicine to Aleppo using a GPS-guided parachute system, but the scheme has been stalled in the face of reluctance among military commanders and an absence of political will.

Diplomats and military from six governments – including the UK, US, France and Germany – have now seen the detailed operational plan proposed by an aid agency, which has been circulating among western officials for over a month.

The plan, which has been seen by the Guardian, relies on technology known as the the Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPads), which has been used by the US military since 2001 to supply troops in forward-offensive positions in areas of Afghanistan too difficult or dangerous to reach by road. It uses pallets dropped by parachute and guided by GPS navigation and a rudder.

According to the plan there are three identified feasible landing points inside east Aleppo. The main aim is to get some humanitarian supplies into the embattled and shrinking enclave to keep people alive in the hope that talks would lead to a longer-term solution. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Push for Aleppo aid drops using GPS-guided parachutes faces military and political resistance

  1. Dieter Heymann

    In April of 1944 when the population of the Western Netherlands suffered from food shortages the Allied Command organized air drops in several major cities. In Amsterdam where I lived the drop place of the square (Plein) of the Olympic Stadium was not more than a few hundred meters from our apartment. US bombers flew almost at rooftop level and dropped their loads on that large square. We sat on our roofs. The pilots waved at us.
    Of course we were not allowed on the drop place. We later learned that the drops were jointly controlled by Dutch underground fighters and German soldiers.
    If such control is not available in Aleppo there is no guarantee whatsoever that the food drops will get to the people who need them. The food will be stolen and appear on a black market.

  2. Paul Woodward

    The report points out:

    Syrian Civil Defense maintains an active presence and has responded to a call for airdrops with the following statement: “The situation in Aleppo is desperate. We have the capacity to collect aid and deliver it to humanitarian organisations and hospitals as needed. We stand ready to help our people.”

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