After years of siege, first food aid reaches Syria’s Daraya

Published 10:20 am Friday, June 10, 2016

BEIRUT — The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations have delivered food aid to the Damascus suburb of Daraya for the first time since it came under siege in 2012, hours after the U.N. said the Syrian government had approved access to 15 of the 19 besieged areas within Syria.

The rebel-held suburb of Daraya, just southwest of the Syrian capital, has been under siege since November 2012 and has witnessed some of the worst bombardment during the country’s civil war, now in its sixth year.

The delivery of food supplies late on Thursday night came a week after a joint convoy of the U.N., the International Committee of the Red Cross and SARC reached Daraya and delivered medicines, vaccines, baby formula, and “nutritional items for children”— but no food.

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The U.N. estimates that there are currently 592,700 people living under siege in Syria, with the vast majority of them — some 452,700 people — besieged by government forces.

Lifting the siege on rebel-held areas was a key demand by the opposition during indirect peace talks held in Geneva earlier this year.