US, UK, France not eager to provide aid for liberated parts of eastern Aleppo – Russia’s MOD

Syrians that evacuated the eastern districts of Aleppo gather to board buses, in a government held area in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 29, 2016. © SANA
Not a single offer to deliver humanitarian aid to the 90,000 residents living in the neighborhoods of East Aleppo that have been freed from terrorists by the Syrian army has been made by the US, UK, France, or the UN, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“While Western countries and representatives of various international organizations were vocal about the need to make humanitarian deliveries to eastern Aleppo possible when it was fully under rebel control, they seem to have lost interest in helping the stricken residents now that they’ve been liberated by government forces,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Obama administration never aimed to fight terrorism in Syria – Russia

“In the last few weeks, they [Western countries] were insistently demanding that humanitarian convoys be ensured access to the rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo. However, now, two days since over 90,000 Aleppo residents were liberated from the terrorists, it turns out that not a single offer to provide humanitarian help to them has been submitted either by the office of UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, or the UK, the French foreign ministries, or the US State Department,” Konashenkov elaborated, adding that nothing is preventing aid deliveries at the moment.

Konashenkov says the apparent reluctance of Western governments to provide aid to East Aleppo’s recently liberated residents now that it’s actually possible to deliver it suggests that those powers weren’t really concerned about those supplies reaching the civilian population in the first place.

“Apparently, this aid was intended for some other people living in the eastern Aleppo neighborhoods,” he said, implying that it had really been meant for the militants fighting the Syrian government there.

In the meantime, Syria’s Russian-backed military operation in eastern Aleppo is in full swing, with scores of civilians flooding into government-controlled parts of the city from rebel-held areas.

On Wednesday, 5,629 civilians, including 2,855 children, fled rebel-controlled neighborhoods for parts of the city that have been freed by Syrian forces, Konashenkov said.

All received shelter in humanitarian centers specially set up by the authorities to accommodate them. Some 150 field kitchens have been dishing out much-needed hot meals.

On Tuesday, Konashenkov called the advances made by the Syrian army this week “a radical breakthrough,” adding that half of the territory previously controlled by the militants in eastern Aleppo has now been freed, paving the way for the liberation of over 80,000 Syrians, who have been suffering from food shortages and a lack of adequate medical care.

Due to the tremendous success of the large-scale operation, the militants have been losing control of the situation and been unable to use civilians as living shields to hinder airstrikes as in the past. Terrorists groups such as Al-Nusra Front went to great lengths to prevent civilians from leaving via humanitarian corridors, shooting at them if they attempted to flee and threatening those remaining with execution if they should try.