BEIRUT

Middle East

Red Cross delivers aid to Baba Amr refugees

DAMASCUS: The Red Cross said it delivered relief supplies on Sunday to refugees from the battered Baba Amr district of Homs city in a nearby village of central Syria.

"We have started to distribute humanitarian aid in Abel village, three kilometres (two miles) from Baba Amr," International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman Saleh Dabbakeh told AFP.

"Many refugees from Baba Amr are in Abel," he said, adding they were being supplied with food products and blankets.

Dabbakeh said a similar operation would take place in Inshaat, another district of Homs, while the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society awaited authorisation from Syrian authorities to enter Baba Amr.

A seven-truck convoy organised by the aid groups has been waiting since Friday to enter Baba Amr, with the authorities saying they were being barred for their own safety because of the presence of bombs and landmines.

Amid widespread international outrage, Britain and Turkey have accused Damascus regime of committing a crime by barring the relief convoys from entering Baba Amr.

Rebel fighters fled the neighbourhood on Thursday in the face of a withering ground assault by regime forces following a month-long shelling blitz which the US-based Human Rights Watch said had killed some 700 people.

"It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help," ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger said of the delay in granting access to relief teams.

 

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