Red Cross moves to get more Syria aid to rebel areas
GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday it has stepped up aid operations across the shifting front lines in Syria to bring food and medical assistance to destitute civilians in rebel-held areas.
A top official of the ICRC said it was working with both sides in the conflict to ensure access to hotspots in the war-torn country where the humanitarian situation is now "catastrophic".
ICRC aid workers reached opposition-held Houla in Homs province for the second time in two weeks on Thursday, delivering medical supplies with government consent after being shut out for three months.
"I've come back from Syria convinced that we must expand operations in coming weeks and months and that we can and must build on our increasing presence in the most delicate regions including those under opposition control," Pierre Kraehenbuehl, ICRC director of operations, told a news briefing in Geneva.
He later told Reuters: "Our priority areas are Idlib and Aleppo in the north, where it is very unstable and fluid. Also the circle around Homs and Hama."