UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang welcomed on Thursday UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s plan to freeze fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
“We are encouraged by the efforts made by the Secretary General's Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to secure a freeze in fighting in some parts of Aleppo,” Kang told the Security Council on Thursday.
Heavy fighting between government troops and opposition forces in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo continues for months. Staffan de Mistura officially put forward an initiative on a ceasefire in Syria's Aleppo during his visit to Damascus in November 2014.
Kyung-wha Kang added that the Security Council humanitarian agencies are developing aid plans coordinated with de Mistura’s plans for Aleppo.
Turning to the ISIL militant group, Kang said that “in Raqqa and Deir ez Zor, ISIL has closed down several organizations, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, a key implementing partner. Some 600,000 people have not received food assistance in these governorates since at least December.”
Addressing the Security Council after Kang, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said that the Syrian conflict forces more and more Syrian people to leave the country.
Guterres said that Syrians are currently the biggest refugee population under the UN refugee agency UNHCR’s mandate.
Syria's internal conflict began in 2011. The country's army is fighting several opposition and rebel groups, including the Islamic State. The civil war has claimed some 200,000 lives so far, and over 3 million people were forced to flee the country, according to UN estimates.