East-Aleppo civilians starve as food runs out in the besieged area
A quarter million Syrians in the besieged eastern part of Aleppo are at risk of starving as the last aid rations were distributed on Thursday and humanitarian groups get no access, senior UN advisor Jan Egeland said in Geneva.
The area that has been besieged by government forces with help from Russian air power has been cut off from outside aid since early July.
"It is a horrendous situation," said Egeland, the United Nations' top envoy on humanitarian efforts in Syria.
The Norwegian diplomat said the UN appealed again last week to the conflict parties to let food, medicine and health workers into eastern Aleppo, and to allow the evacuation of some 300 patients along with their families.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday that Russia is continuing its humanitarian pause of air attacks on eastern Aleppo, in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.
However, Egeland noted that continuing heavy fighting on the ground has made aid efforts impossible.
In addition, the warring sides have raised various conditions that have further complicated UN efforts.
"I haven't seen a place where there has been so much politicization, manipulation of aid as we have seen in Syria," he said at a press briefing.
Egeland urged the United States, which backs Syrian anti-government rebels, and Russia to use their influence to unblock the humanitarian operation.
"Parties that are sponsoring the parties on the ground have to help us more," he said, adding that he was optimistic that a solution would be found.
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