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    A man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, May 15, 2016

    Russia Can Conduct Aerial Aid Drops in Syria - State Department

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    Russia has the capability to air-drop humanitarian aid to besieged parts of Syria amid ongoing delays of ground-based deliveries, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The International Syrian Support Group (ISSG), co-chaired by the United States and Russia, agreed in May to transport humanitarian aid into affected Syrian communities by June 1. If not, they said ISSG nations would be forced to air-drop aid.

    "Russia actually has air assets on the ground in Syria and ostensibly has the permission of the Syrian government to fly," Toner told reporters.

    Asked specifically if he was suggesting Russia, not the United Nations World Food Program, should carry out humanitarian aid drops, Toner affirmed, "I am suggesting."

    Four besieged communities, including Darayya, have been identified for humanitarian aid convoys by the United Nations. According to US officials, aid has been blocked by the Syrian government.

    On June 1, Darraya received its first humanitarian aid shipment since 2012, but the delivery reportedly did not include needed food aid.

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    Tags:
    humanitarian aid, UN World Food Program (WFP), Syria, Russia
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