Red Cross aid reaches besieged Damascus suburb but Daraya being ‘starved out’


The Red Cross said on Sunday it had delivered more food and hygiene kits for around 3,500 people in the besieged Syrian suburb of Mouadamiya near Damascus, expecting to send more in the coming days.

But no aid was sent to the neighboring, also besieged, southwestern suburb of Daraya, which was cut off from Mouadamiya on Friday when Syrian government forces took full control of a strip of land used as a supply route between the two rebel-held areas, tightening a three-year siege.

This delivery to 700 families by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent follows a similar operation earlier in the week that provided food for more than 12,000 people and medical supplies for 10,000 people.

The ICRC has said that regular access to this and other besieged areas in Syria is needed.

Rebel-held Daraya borders a military airport used by Russian planes — which have been conducting airstrikes for President Bashar Assad since September — and the Syrian government is keen to wrest back control of the area.

The government offensive to take the land separating Daraya from Mouadamiya, which has a population of around 45,000-50,000, began in early December

Speaking about the separation of the two suburbs, a rebel spokesman told Reuters that the government is now trying to starve out Daraya’s population.