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Massive aid operation underway in Syria: UN

Friday - February 21, 2020 9:23 am , Category : WORLD
United Nations, Feb 21 (IANS) With the continuing bombardments in Idlib and Aleppo, a massive aid operation from Turkey into northwest Syria was underway to assist civilians, a UN spokesman said.
"The UN remains very alarmed about the safety and protection of over three million civilians in Idlib and its surrounding areas in northwestern Syria, as reports of airstrikes and shelling continue to take a heavy toll on the civilian population," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Thursday.
"There was no respite for families in Idlib and Aleppo in the last 24 hours."
Dujarric said that at least 15 communities were reportedly hit by airstrikes, and 11 reportedly struck by shelling, reports Xinhua news agency.
The aid operation saw 1,227 trucks of humanitarian assistance cross from Turkey through Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salam checkpoints last month compared to 928 trucks last December, he said.
It is the largest amount of aid the UN has sent across the Syrian-Turkish border in any month since the operation was authorized in 2014.
Nearly 900 of the trucks carried food assistance to help 1.4 million people, the spokesman said.
Other trucks carried health supplies for almost 500,000 people and non-food items for more than 230,000 people.
Meanwhile, Save the Children and UNICEF said that around 500,000 children had been forced to flee their homes since December to escape an offensive launched by Russian-backed Syrian regime forces in the region.

--IANS ksk/