PARIS - France made its largest medical delivery to northern Syria on Friday, including antidotes for nerve agents, as rebels prepared to fight off an assault on the city of Aleppo by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.
France, which has actively supported the rebels in its former colony, has not yet chosen to arm Assad's foes, but has been channeling non-lethal equipment as well as medical aid through the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations, a non-governmental association based in Paris.
The foreign ministry said the 16 tons of aid was trucked from Turkey to a hospital in northern Syria, from where it will be distributed by the association. Its contents ranged from antibiotics to anti-inflammatories and medicines for heart conditions.
"These medicines will allow the treatment of several thousand people in about 20 health centers around Syria, and particularly in the north," Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said in a statement.
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