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The Latest: UN to discuss possible Syrian aid air drops

This image released by the International Committee for the Red Cross shows the first humanitarian aid convoy in Daraya, Syria on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A besieged suburb of Syria's capital received humanitarian aid Wednesday for the first time since 2012, as the United Nations. The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that a joint convoy with the U.N. and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered the Damascus suburb of Daraya in the afternoon. The U.N. estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 people currently live in the suburb.(ICRC via AP)
June 01, 2016 - 1:00 PM

BEIRUT - The Latest on Syria's civil war (all times local):

11 p.m.

The United Nations Security Council is set to discuss the possibility of starting humanitarian air drops to besieged areas of Syria.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said Wednesday that the two convoys that were allowed to bring humanitarian aid to Daraya and Moadamiyeh were insufficient and the Security Council would take up the issue of air drops on Friday.

He says the aid getting into Daraya is "too little, too late" and notes a Wednesday deadline set by world powers for "full land access to every single area in Syria that is currently besieged."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, however, says he believes air drops are impractical and that the land deliveries should be given a chance.


8:30 p.m.

The main Syrian opposition group has called on the U.N. to broker a countrywide cease-fire for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins next week.

Riad Hijab, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee, which participated in failed peace talks with the government in Geneva earlier this year, wrote in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general that a "comprehensive" cease-fire and the unfettered delivery of aid are preconditions for resuming negotiations.

An earlier, partial cease-fire this year excluded al-Qaida's Syria affiliate and its extremist rival the Islamic State group. It brought welcome relief to some opposition areas but frayed by late April.


8 p.m.

A local Syrian council says the first humanitarian aid convoy to enter a government-besieged Damascus suburb since 2012 contained no food.

The Local Council of Daraya says the convoy that entered Wednesday afternoon to much anticipation carried only medicines and medical equipment.

Mohannad al-Assadi, an official with the Syrian Red Crescent, which helped co-ordinate the convoy, says it brought baby formula but no adult food. Officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, which also helped organize the convoy, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The U.N. estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 people currently live in Daraya.


5:45 p.m.

An Islamic State-affiliated news agency says U.S.-led aircraft have bombed several key bridges in northern Syria, severing a key IS supply route between the Turkish border and Manbij, where a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force is advancing.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive to retake Manbij, a key IS stronghold, earlier Wednesday. The campaign aims to surround and isolate the extremist group's de-facto capital, Raqqa.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says coalition aircraft struck at least one bridge between Manbij and Jarablus, a town on the Turkish border under IS control.


4 p.m.

The International Committee for the Red Cross says a humanitarian aid convoy has reached a besieged suburb of the Syrian capital in the first such delivery since 2012.

Government forces have blockaded Daraya since residents expelled security forces during the early stages of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The ICRC says a joint convoy with the U.N. and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered the suburb around 3 p.m. The U.N. estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 people currently live in the suburb.

An official for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent says an aid convoy of 36 trucks has entered neighbouring Moadamiyeh, which is also under government siege. The suburb last received aid one month ago.


11:30 a.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says airstrikes and Turkish artillery fire against the Islamic State group in Syria have killed 14 militants.

Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition targeting IS in an airstrikes campaign.

The Anadolu Agency, citing military officials, said Wednesday the strikes targeted IS positions north of the city of Aleppo and destroyed a tank, two mortar positions, a building used as headquarters and three vehicles.

The report says the strikes came after Turkey's military had determined that IS militants were preparing to attack the Turkish territory from the region.

The report could not be independently verified. Turkey has not explained how it counts casualties in Syria.

Cross-border fire from Syria has claimed 21 lives and wounded dozens of others in the border town of Kilis this year.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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