Russian Aid and Airdrops in Syria

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Written and produced by SF Team: Brian Betts, Edwin Watson

While the U.N. has been blaming the Russian and Syrian governments for a lack of “imminent” aid airdrops, it is important to remember that both sovereign governments have worked throughout 2016 to deliver humanitarian aid to some of the most dangerous, and cut-off, regions of Syria. What many western media sources fail to report is the strategic challenge associated with delivering aid to certain regions of Syria; the risk of accidentally supplying criminal elements is extremely high.

Some of the methods proposed by the U.N. and American-led coalition would carry a respectable amount of aid, however, the routes and methods of delivery are untenable given the current strategic situation in many of the afflicted regions. For example, routes from Turkey would seem like a promising way to move aid through to the northern and eastern regions of Syria. Unfortunately, the overwhelming presence of ISIS in these areas precludes this option. Still, when the obviously unworkable plan is rejected, the western media howls about the inhumanity.

This is only a minor review at the Russian humanitarian activity in Syria. It doesn’t include the all acitivites, but allows to make an opinion about them:

Deir ez-Zor

In January of 2016, Russia began fresh aid operations to airdrop and deliver at least 50 tons of aid to Deir ez-Zor, which has been under siege by ISIS since March of 2014. In February 2016, Russia followed up with the World Food Program (WFP) to deliver 21 tons of food to the city. During the following March, Russia delivered another 30 tons of aidIn May, up to 100 tons of the hummanitarian  assistance were droped to the besieged city. In June, Russian aircraft have already dropped about 40 tons of UN humanitarian cargos (mainly food products and corns) on Deir ez-Zor.

Following the reports of the Russian MoD, it could be condluded that Russian aircraft drop hummanitarian aide to the besieged city on a constant basis.

Aleppo

In March of 2016, Russia used helicopters to deliver aid outside Aleppo, in the village of Balat. In April, May and June, Russia continued to deliver humanitarian assistance (food products and others) to the province, including areas of Ain Asaf, Assan, Hay al-Muhafaza, Tell Abur, al-Malikyan, Terkan, Azizia, Tell al-Naam and many others.

Daraa

In June, low-income families in the village of Tubna received 2.5 tons of humanitarian assistance, mainly food products and sweets for children.

Homs, Hama and Damascus

In April of 2016, humanitarian aid from Russia was distributed to residents of al-Rhaibeh, near Damascus. In May of the same year, aid was delivered to residents of Jayroud, Citizens of Tavani, villages in the Damascus province.

During the same month, Russian and Syrian government elements worked together to deliver aid to the outlying suburbs within the provinces of Hama and Damascus. Russian supply convoys in Harasta, Damascus and Kafr-Nan, Hama both received fire from rebel positions.

According to reports of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic, humanitarian convoys for inhabitants of the Damascus, Hama and Homs provinces are formed and delivered on a constant basis. Russian specialits have also set medical centres in some settlements and are providing a medical assistance to civilians.

In May, a camp for internally displaced persons located in Deir al-Fardis received 16 tons of humanitarian assistance. Separately, a camp for internally displaced persons located in Mesherfa receieved about 1 ton of hummanitarian aid.

In June, UN humanitarian aid has been delivered by 20 Russian vehicles to citizens of Muadamiya in the Damascus province.

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