8.8 C
Sunday, May 28, 2023
HomeWorldUS fearful of pause in Syria aid delivery after airport attack

US fearful of pause in Syria aid delivery after airport attack


Aleppo airport was used to provide aid to victims of last month’s earthquake but has been closed since a suspected Israeli attack.

The United States has said it is concerned if humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria are disrupted for a long time after Aleppo’s international airport was shut down by an alleged Israeli airstrike.

The airport was used to provide relief to victims of last month’s earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

The Syrian transport ministry had diverted all earthquake relief flights to Damascus or Latakia, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that while he was unable to comment on the attribution of Tuesday’s airstrike, Washington would be concerned if the flow of humanitarian aid were halted for an extended period of time.

The airport closure could have “serious humanitarian consequences for the people of Aleppo – one of the worst earthquake-hit governorates in the country – and could also affect the wider vulnerable population in need of humanitarian assistance,” said UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq Wednesday.

A man walks past collapsed buildings after a devastating earthquake in the town of Jinderes, Aleppo province, Syria (File: Ghaith Alsayed/AP Photo)

Haq said all UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights from Aleppo had been suspended, adding that those flights carry aid workers and life-saving supplies and should resume without delay.

“We call on all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including by taking all possible precautions to spare civilians and civilian objects when engaging in hostilities,” Haq said.

The Israeli army declined to comment on Syrian state media’s accusation that it was behind the airstrike.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran’s influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the war that began in 2011.

On February 19, Israeli airstrikes targeted residential areas in Damascus, killing at least five people and injuring 15, according to Syrian state news.

On January 2, the Syrian army said the Israeli army fired rockets into the capital’s international airport, taking it out of service and killing two soldiers.

Foreign donors, including the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, have flown relief supplies to Aleppo airport since the February 6 earthquake, Syrian state media reported.

According to UN figures, more than 8.8 million people have been affected by the earthquakes across Syria and more than 105,000 people have been displaced.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Latest stories