Syria aid crisis: 'Putin and Assad are not respecting ceasefire'

Syria aid crisis: 'Putin and Assad are not respecting ceasefire'

A UN convoy was sent to help civilians but was forced to leave

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

An aid expert has blamed Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad for the latest relief crisis to hit war-torn Syria.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer after a UN convoy, dispatched to deliver aid to the eastern Ghouta area of Syria, was forced to leave the rebel enclave due to intense shelling, despite a ceasefire agreement signed a few days ago.

De Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert and director of the charity Doctors Under Fire, said the crisis was doubly serious as there are 175 children in eastern Ghouta who need urgent medical care.

The interviewee said he was initially "very hopeful" but it's now clear that "the Russians and the Syrian regime are not playing their part."

De Bretton-Gordon added that, while he speaks to people in Ghouta regularly, there is no independent verification of the information he is getting and this is allowing the Styrian regime to paint the situation as overblown.

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