Syria warns Turkey: No aid to Aleppo without coordination
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Syria warns Turkey: No aid to Aleppo without coordination

Despite fragile truce brokered by US and Russia, regime says assistance for battered city must go through government, UN

Syrian civilians and a rescue worker evacuate children in the Maadi district of eastern Aleppo after regime aircraft reportedly dropped explosive-packed barrel bombs, August 27, 2016. (AFP/Ameer Alhalbi)
Syrian civilians and a rescue worker evacuate children in the Maadi district of eastern Aleppo after regime aircraft reportedly dropped explosive-packed barrel bombs, August 27, 2016. (AFP/Ameer Alhalbi)

Syria’s government on Tuesday warned that all aid going to the divided, devastated city of Aleppo, particularly assistance sent by Turkey, must be coordinated with Damascus and the United Nations.

“Commenting on the statement issued by the Turkish regime on its intention to send what it says is humanitarian aid into Aleppo, the Syrian Arab Republic announces its rejection of the entry of any humanitarian aid to Aleppo, particularly from the Turkish regime, without coordination with the Syrian government and the United Nations,” the foreign ministry said.

The statement carried by state media came nearly a full day into a fragile truce brokered by Russia and the United States, which calls for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria.

Over the weekend, Turkey said it was already making preparations to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo, where some 250,000 people in the rebel-held east are under government siege.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands at a press conference in Geneva on September 9, 2016, where they announced a new plan for a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war and the foundation of a peace process. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands at a press conference in Geneva on September 9, 2016, where they announced a new plan for a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war and the foundation of a peace process. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

But a Syrian source close to the government said the US-Russian deal only allowed the United Nations to send aid into Aleppo.

The source said the sealed trucks would come from Turkey and would be opened inside Aleppo by the Syrian Red Crescent, which would distribute the aid.

Turkey is a key backer of Syria’s opposition and has regularly called for President Bashar Assad to step down.

Damascus in turn accuses its northern neighbor of sponsoring “terrorism.”

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