UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Thousands of children that remain trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa are cut off from lifesaving assistance as their food supplies are quickly running out, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Syria Fran Equiza said in a statement on Friday.
"According to reports UNICEF is receiving from inside Raqqa city, several thousand children continue to be trapped in the city, caught in the direct line of fire," Equiza stated. "With no access for humanitarian agencies, the city is completely cut off from lifesaving assistance. Children and families have little or no safe water while food supplies are running out fast."
Nevertheless, Equiza characterized the children as "hopeful" and called on the parties to the conflict to ensure safe passage for all families wishing to leave Raqqa.
On Thursday, the advisor to the UN special envoy for Syria on humanitarian issues, Jan Egeland, urged parties to the conflict to consider taking a humanitarian pause and allow civilians to escape from Raqqa’s neighborhoods that are held by the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia).
Raqqa has been controlled by the Daesh since 2013. In June, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported of the US-led coalition against the Daesh, started an operation to liberate Raqqa from the Daesh.
The coalition's activities have not been authorized by the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.