Air drops plan "could be extended to all of Syria"

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A WFP air drop. Photo: WFP (file)

A plan to airdrop aid to all besieged locations in Syria could be implemented amid continuing difficulties reaching desperate communities in the war-torn country, it's been announced.

US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled the proposal after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna on Tuesday.

Matthew Wells reports.

The World Food Programme (WFP) which has already been involved in coordinating airdrops to the eastern besieged town of Deir Ez-Zour, would be involved in an extended aerial aid operation if the UN is denied access by road, Mr Kerry said.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura confirmed the plan and said that only 12 out of 18 besieged locations have been reached to date.

According to Mr de Mistura, no date has yet been set for the resumption of peace talks in Geneva.

He said the sticking point was that renewed outbursts of fighting had undermined the fragile truce which made negotiations between government and opposition groups possible.

Whereas around 80 per cent of the fighting had stopped earlier in the year, the current level was more like 50 per cent, said the envoy.

In a statement following the meeting, the ISSG said it welcomed the joint statement from Russia and the US of last week, saying they would "intensify efforts" to stop the fighting, and help restore the necessary conditions for talks to continue.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 56"

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