UN refugee agency starts aid airlift into northeastern Syria

Photo: UN refugee agency starts aid airlift into northeastern Syria / Arabic region

The UN Refugee Agency on Wednesday started an airlift of relief items from Iraq into a northeastern Syrian province to help extremely vulnerable and displaced Syrians there, Xinhua reported.

The aid shipment was delivered to Syria's al-Hassakeh province to help more than 50,000 displaced Syrians cope with the sudden arrival of winter, following an agreement between UN and both the Iraqi and Syrian authorities to open new aid routes, according to a statement sent to Xinhua by UN Spokesman Khaled al-Masri.

The cargo was loaded with 7,000 thermal blankets, 1,400 plastic tarpaulins, 1,400 kitchen sets, 4,200 sleeping mats and 1,400 jerry cans, the statement said, adding the refugee agency plans 12 flights from Erbil, Iraq over the next week.

The UN's leading humanitarian agencies plan a total of 23 flights to reach needy families in al-Hassakeh province since overland deliveries of humanitarian assistance from Damascus have been perilous since May.

Some 188,000 displaced persons reside in al-Hassakeh and the relief items being airlifted will help 10,000 families to survive the winter.

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