UN to deliver relief supplies to Syria via Iraq

United Nations
Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 10, 2013
and last updated 2014-01-15 16:09:25-05

GENEVA (AP) — U.N. officials say relief agencies will airlift aid to Syria from Iraq for the first time using a new "humanitarian corridor."

Amin Awad, head of the U.N. refugee agency's Middle East and North Africa bureau, says at least seven flights from Irbil, Iraq, are planned this week to reach Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province near Turkey's border.

He told reporters Tuesday the $4-million in airlifts are "extraordinary measures" needed because armed groups control the roads between Iraq and Syria.

U.N. envoy Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement that Iraq and the U.N. agreed on the corridor so U.N. agencies can resupply warehouses in Syria with food, medical kits and educational supplies from reserves in Iraq.

Such corridors exist from Syria's other neighbors, but this is the first from Iraq.