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UN plans reaching besieged as partial truce holds in Syria

Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 01:47 PM
The UN says it plans to deliver aid to some 150,000 Syrians in besieged areas over the next five days amid a partial truce in the country's civil war, BBC reporterd.
The UN said it was ready to help an estimated 1.7 million people in hard-to-reach areas by the end of March.
A cessation of hostilities began on Saturday and there have been complaints of breaches from both the sides.
But it otherwise appears to be intact with a key Syrian opposition group saying the situation is much better.

Western powers have accused Russia of attacking moderate rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; Moscow says it only targets UN-designated terror groups.

This is now a crucial window of opportunity for the UN to get food and aid to the besieged. The truce does, in general, remain intact despite both the Western-backed opposition and regime sides complaining of dozens of violations over the weekend, including air strikes around Aleppo.

It is unclear whether the target was the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra front, which would not constitute a ceasefire breach since it and so-called Islamic State are not included in the deal.

A rebel spokesman talked of violations "here and there," but a situation much better than before. Moscow also complained of incidents, but said on the whole the ceasefire was being implemented.

That it has largely held for the weekend has defied expectations, but there is still a lot of scepticism that it can continue for the full two weeks.
Agency: Ap7am Desk
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