France calls for urgent preparation of humanitarian air drops in Syria

NEW YORK, June 3 (KUNA) — France called on the United Nations and the World Food Program (WFP) to urgently prepare for humanitarian air drops into areas that are most in need in Syria or increase pressure on the Syrian regime to have a free humanitarian access which is an obligation under international law.
Speaking to the press, on his way to the closed consultations of the Security Council on humanitarian access to besieged areas in Syria, the French Ambassador Francois Delattre said humanitarian airdrops should happen, “the sooner the better.” On his national capacity, Delattre affirmed that the Syrian regime is continuing to “seek death to its own people with complete impunity,” and said that the bombing of the rebels and the civilian populations is continuing, if not increasing in Idlib, Aleppo and elsewhere.
As the barrage fire is raining down on Aleppo, which is to a large extent the key to Syria’s future, the French diplomat told the press that “the regime is continuing day after day to use barrel bombs as instruments of death.” “We have not been fooled by the Syrian regime’s ploy to authorize certain convoys – which turned out to be empty of food or medicine or both,” he added.
As he described such acts as “appalling deception,” Delattre that runs the Council this month, said the Syrian regime is continuing to systematically starve hundreds of thousands of civilians, using them as “weapons of war.” The urgent briefing that is being called for is held to give the 15 Council members all the information they need to assess the situation on the ground since the International Syria Support Group (ISSG)’s statement in May.
The statement by the ISSG decided that if the UN was not granted land access to besieged areas after June 1, then the WFP should deliver humanitarian aid using plan-b which is air drops.
In this context, the French diplomat told the press prior the meeting that the top priority is to get those who have influence over Damascus starting with Russia to strongly increase their pressure on the regime, with the urgent need for air drops, affirming the difficulty of such operations.
Accusing the regime of not upholding its commitments, France underlined the necessity to put an end to the humanitarian disaster, also noting that the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) is entering a new phase in Syria and Iraq.
It is clear that the Damascus regime crimes only serve objectively to encourage the IS, and increase the flow of Syrian refugees, he said, “therefore, there is an additional urgent need to substantially improve humanitarian situation and to launch on this basis credible negotiations on the necessary political transition in Syria.” Behind closed doors, both the Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Stephen O’Brien and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will update the members on the latest developments. (end) mao.rk