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    People gather around a Russian military truck to receive a food aid in Maarzaf, about 15 kilometers west of Hama, Syria, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    Russian Military Delivers Over 5 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid to Syria's Hama

    © AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin
    Middle East
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    The Russian military has delivered over five tonnes of humanitarian aid to the town Suqaylabiyah in Syria's Hama province, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation at the Hmeymim airbase said Saturday.

    SUQAYLABIYAH (Sputnik) — The delivery had been organized in coordination with local authorities, he added, noting that priority was given to families of those killed in fighting, as well as disabled people, the elderly, women and children.

    "The center has delivered five and a half tonnes of food, which include the most essential items, flour, rice, food rations," reconciliation center representative Ruslan Tokarev told reporters.

    "As a peacekeeping country, we are first and foremost helping the population to help them survive the war and reach victory," Tokarev said.

    Suqaylabiyah, a predominantly Eastern Orthodox town, has doubled its pre-war population of 17,000 residents due to an influx of refugees from other parts of the country, according to local administration head Muhammad Taros. The government is providing refugees with shelter, food and medical treatment, while local residents have housed a large number of refugees, he added.

    However, the town's farms have suffered as a result of its proximity to the line of contact between government forces and terrorist groups. The town has undergone shelling by al-Nusra Front militants, Taros said.

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    humanitarian aid, Hama, Syria
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