Aleppo suffering “de facto” besiegement, warns UN Syria Envoy

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Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria at a press conference. UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Preparations for a new round of Syria talks are continuing apace, UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura said Thursday, amid increasing concerns about the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country.

In a briefing with journalists, the organisation's Special Envoy for Syria blamed ongoing fighting for hampering aid access, not administrative delays.

There was "no doubt" that the deteriorating situation in Aleppo and the vulnerability of those trapped there are now extremely serious concerns, Mr de Mistura said.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria described the northern city of Aleppo as "de facto besieged , saying said that the people there have perhaps three weeks of supplies left.

Amid reports of a joint Syria-Russia proposal to help people leave Aleppo, Mr de Mistura urged the United States and Russia to come to an agreement on Syria.

He indicated that while the super-powers talked, people continued to suffer inside Syria.

"The reality on the ground is that currently, what is actually impeding the access of humanitarian aid is not permissions, is not paper, it is rather fighting."

In addition to Aleppo, the UN Special Envoy for Syria reeled off a list of other locations where lives continue to be lost through violence: Damascus, Daraya, Eastern Houta and the Four Towns of Al Fouah, Kafraya, Zabdani and Madaya. 

Mr de Mistura also spoke of "carnage" in Quamishli in the north-east of Syria, where a lorry bomb attack reportedly killed dozens of people on Wednesday.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’15″

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