Syria to let Red Cross into embattled district

After rebel forces withdraw from Baba Amro neighborhood of Homs, ICRC given green light to deliver much-needed aid.

March 1, 2012 19:21
1 minute read.
Damaged cars are seen in Bab Amro in Homs

Cars damaged in Homs 390. (photo credit: Reuters)


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GENEVA - Syrian authorities will let Red Cross aid workers enter the Baba Amro district of Homs on Friday, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in Geneva.

The move came as a three-week army siege of the neighborhood appeared to be ending on Thursday with the

Hassan, asked about the timing of the agreement, said: "We can't speculate on the timing and reasons of this green light. We have, however, been in negotiations for several days.

"It's more urgent than ever to implement this initiative of a humanitarian ceasefire in the shortest delay, all the more that the humanitarian situation is worsening."

A statement in the name of the fighters urged the ICRC and other humanitarian groups to enter Baba Amro and bring aid to 4,000 civilians who had stayed in their damaged houses.

ICRC aid trucks had been meant to go from Damascus to Homs on Thursday, but snow had prevented them from reaching the city, 160 km (100 miles) north of the capital, Hassan said.

In recent weeks, he added, the ICRC's local affiliate, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, had distributed aid elsewhere in Homs, including to people who fled Baba Amro. But it had not been able to take supplies and services into the rebel stronghold itself.

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