BAGHDAD - The United Nations sent its first delivery of humanitarian aid
by air to Syria from Iraq on Sunday and said it plans to deliver more
food and winter supplies to the mainly Kurdish northeast in the next 12
The first cargo plane carrying food took off from Arbil in
Iraq's northern Kurdistan region and will make a one-hour flight to
Hassakeh in Syria.
The food supplies over the next 12 days should
be able to feed more than 6,000 Syrian families for the rest of
December, the UN's World Food Programme said. This is the third winter
since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.
The airlifts were
delayed from last week because of a storm which swept across Syria and
Lebanon, bringing with it high winds and freezing temperatures. Cold,
dry winds whipped the Tarmac at Arbil airport before takeoff.
wave of extreme cold led to deteriorating conditions for people in the
city of Qamishli and other places in Syria," Iyad Nuaman, WFP regional
coordinator, told Reuters by telephone from Arbil.
eastern Syria are suffering more than others because they are far from
the capital and there were problems with the delivery of food supplies,"
Both governments gave permission for the aid flights
which will also include supplies of non-food items such as blankets,
clothes and medicine in the coming days.
The 12-day airlift, involving various UN agencies, will include 400 tons of food and 196 kg of medical kits.