The United Nations refugee agency and its partners stand ready to send pre-positioned emergency aid packages to families in previously inaccessible areas of Syria if a proposed four-day ceasefire goes ahead this week during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
“We and our partners want to be in a position to move quickly if security allows over the next few days,” said the representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country, Tarik Kurdi. “There are areas around Aleppo, Idlib, Al Raqqa and Homs we have been unable to reach with humanitarian aid for some time. If there is a window of opportunity here, we will be ready to move.”
According to media reports, the Syrian army announced today that it would observe the ceasefire, although it reserved the right to respond to any rebel attack or attempts to reinforce the armed opposition, elements of which have indicated that they would also back the move.
While in Tehran last week, the UN and League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for the crisis in Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, had appealed to Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire during Eid al-Adha, underscoring that such a move – during one of the holiest holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world – would help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop.
Starting on Friday, the religious observance of Eid al-Adha – or the Feast of the Sacrifice – commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God.
On Thursday, the head spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban said
the UN chief welcomed the reported announcements of warring parties in Syria agreeing to observe the ceasefire.
“It’s important that all sides will adhere to this,” Martin Nesirky told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. “We all understand that there is a lack of trust between parties, and therefore ….Read More