UN led aid convoy to Syria's Rukban camp postponed: UN official

Reuters , Friday 26 Oct 2018

A UN-led aid delivery, critically needed by thousands of civilians stranded in a camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border, has been postponed and will not arrive on Saturday as was expected by community leaders, a UN official said on Friday.

"The planned joint U.N.-Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) humanitarian convoy to Rukban camp has been delayed for logistical and security reasons," Fadwa Abed Rabou Baroud, a Damascus-based U.N. official, told Reuters.

In the last three years, tens of thousands of people have fled to the camp from Islamic State-held parts of Syria being targeted by Russian and U.S.-led coalition air strikes.

A siege earlier this month by the Syrian army and a block on aid by Jordan has depleted food at the camp in the Rukban area of southeast Syria. That has led to at least a dozen deaths in the past week among its more than 50,000 inhabitants, mainly women and children, residents and U.N. sources told Reuters.

Rukban lies inside a "deconfliction zone" set up by U.S. forces. Damascus says U.S. troops are occupying Syrian territory and providing a safe haven for rebels.

The United Nations office said it had received authorisation by the Syrian government to deliver the aid and confirmed preparations were being made for a convoy to desperate camp residents this week but did not give a date.

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