UN humanitarian chief visits Syria

UN humanitarian chief visits Syria

United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has visited Baba Amr, becoming the first international official to enter the embattled Syrian district since fighting began.

Her visit is expected to result in the first outside assessment of conditions in an area of Homs city which has been the target of heavy military shelling and the scene of unquantifiable deaths, including those of Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

It comes after Bashar Assad’s regime rebuffed an earlier request by Amos to visit the region.

The UN chief said the aim of today’s mission was to “urge all sides to allow unhindered access for humanitarian relief workers so they can evacuate the wounded and deliver essential supplies”.

Once in Baba Amr, she spent around 45 minutes surveying the devastation, accompanied by officials from the Syrian Red Crescent.

Volunteers said most of the inhabitants appeared to have left the stricken district.

Many are understood to have decamped to outlying areas where relief teams have been distributing food parcels, blankets and baby milk.

Despite international appeals, the Syrian government has still refused to allow any aid workers into Baba Amr, claiming security risks.

But activists have accused the government of conducting a “mopping-up” operation to hide its activities.

More on this topic

Syria safe zones: what is driving the unexpected rapprochement between the US and Turkey?Syria safe zones: what is driving the unexpected rapprochement between the US and Turkey?

Militants pull out of key rebel town as Syrian troops push inMilitants pull out of key rebel town as Syrian troops push in

Holly Willoughby ‘honoured’ by interview with Syrian child refugeeHolly Willoughby ‘honoured’ by interview with Syrian child refugee

The world 'shrugs' as more than 100 people killed in airstrikes in Syria in 10 daysThe world 'shrugs' as more than 100 people killed in airstrikes in Syria in 10 days

More in this Section

Revellers restrain suspected killer in the UK by sitting on him until police arriveRevellers restrain suspected killer in the UK by sitting on him until police arrive

Enigmatic artist who made €5.4m gold toilet denies theft was a prankEnigmatic artist who made €5.4m gold toilet denies theft was a prank

Boris Johnson: We’ll break out of EU’s manacles like The Hulk if no deal struckBoris Johnson: We’ll break out of EU’s manacles like The Hulk if no deal struck

Jo Swinson: I’ll cancel Brexit if I’m PMJo Swinson: I’ll cancel Brexit if I’m PM


Lifestyle

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

A reader from Ovens recently got in touch to voice concern about the dead horse chestnut treesBleeding canker disease hitting beloved ‘conker’ tree hard

As the weather turns cooler, people will be paying over the counter for cures for seasonal colds and sniffles. But we don’t have to look far for free vitamin C.Time is ripe for this berry

The evening may have gotten off to a slow start, but velvet-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter Feist’s performance at Cork Opera House on Saturday night was worth waiting for.Velvet-voiced Feist worth the wait

More From The Irish Examiner