Syria ‘approves aid to besieged towns’

Men inspect damage after an airstrike on Aleppo's rebel held al-Hallak neighbourhood on 2 JuneImage copyright

Image caption

Damage caused by air strikes in a suburb of Aleppo, in northern Syria

Syria says it has approved the delivery of humanitarian aid to at least 11 besieged areas in the country.

In a statement, the Syrian Mission to the United Nations named 36 areas to receive aid in June, and asked the UN and the Red Cross to send the convoys.

It comes as the UN Security Council is due to discuss plans for air drops of aid to areas under siege.

Meanwhile, air strikes in and around the northern city of Aleppo have reportedly killed 31 civilians.

The Syrian Civil Defence force, whose volunteer emergency response workers are known as the “white helmets”, said one of the Syrian air strikes hit a bus, killing 10 people, AFP news agency reported.

The vehicle was travelling on a road used by rebels as a key supply route out of the city.

School supplies and milk

The UN has 19 areas designated as “besieged”, and in at least 11 of them the Syrian government said aid convoys would be allowed in.

They included Kafr Batna, Saqba, Hammura, Jisrein, Zabadin, East Harasta, Zamalka, Madaya, Foua, Kefraya and Yarmouk.

It also said eight other towns were approved to receive medical assistance, school supplies and milk for children, including Daraya and Douma, also under siege.

The Syrian opposition has warned the government may open the door just enough to alleviate international pressure before restricting access again.

The UN Security Council is expected to discuss plans to begin air drops of humanitarian aid to areas under siege, following calls by the US, UK and France.

The UN deputy special envoy for Syria, Ramzi Essedine Ramzi, said the process that would lead to air drops had already started.

But a senior UN official warned on Thursday that air operations were “not imminent”.

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