Russia has started humanitarian operation in Syria. Pictured: Russian EMERCOM plane with humanitarian aid arrives to Latakia Airport in Syria, 2014.Andrey Stenin/RIA Novosti
The Russian army has launched a humanitarian operation in the Syrian Arab Republic, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff main operative department, said.
"A decision has been made to begin a humanitarian operation of the Russian Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic," Rudskoi said at a press briefing on Jan. 15.
The protracted armed conflict "has created an extremely difficult humanitarian situation in a majority of populated localities in the Syrian Arab Republic," he said.
"The population has been suffering from a deficit of food, medicines, and other essential goods. A number of international non-governmental organizations, among them the International Committee of the Red Cross, are delivering humanitarian cargo to Syria. However, this relief is mostly sent to regions controlled by the militants, largely falls into the hands of militants and is being used to support gangs," Rudskoi said.
"Besides, there have been repeated attempts to supply weapons and ammunition and to evacuate wounded militants under the disguise of humanitarian convoys," he said, adding that it was the reason for the decision to begin a humanitarian operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria, the general said.
"People are gradually coming back to Syrian towns and peaceful life is being restored," he said. "Therefore, humanitarian operations become a new area of the activity of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria," Rudskoi said.
At present, aid is mostly supplied to the city of Deir ez-Zor, "which has been besieged by ISIS for a long time. Ilyushin Il-76 military cargo planes of the Syrian Air Force delivered 22 tonnes of humanitarian aid to that city today by use of Russian parachute platforms. The cargo will be distributed by the local authorities," Rudskoi said.
"I would like to underline that the work in this field will continue. We will not rest and will continue to render any possible assistance to the people of Syria for freeing their country from extremists and restoring the peaceful life," he said.
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