U.N. suspends aid to Syria after convoy attacked

The United Nations suspended aid deliveries to Syria on Tuesday, hours after a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to rebel-held parts of Aleppo was attacked killing at least 12 people.

Jens Laerke a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said deliveries would be held pending a review of the security situation in the war-torn country.

He said it was “a very, very dark day… for humanitarians across the world,” the Associated Press reported.

The suspension of aid came soon after the Syrian military said a week-long cease-fire deal brokered by and Russia and the United States was over after violations on all sides, including a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on Saturday that mistakenly killed dozens of Syrian soldiers.

Top U.S. official Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the airstrike had not derailed the cease-fire agreement.

The U.N. said at least 18 of 31 trucks in a U.N. and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy that was transporting aid to 78,000 people were hit while traveling to Urm al-Kubra in Aleppo on Monday.

It said a SARC warehouse was also hit and a SARC health clinic was reported to have been badly damaged. The nature of the attack wasn’t immediately clear.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group, said the aid workers and truck drivers were killed in an airstrike that was carried out by Syrian or Russian warplanes. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Staffan de Mistura, the U.S. special envoy for Syria, said: "Our outrage at this attack is enormous ... the convoy was the outcome of a long process of permission and preparations to assist isolated civilians," in a statement emailed to Reuters.

USA TODAY


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