UN first air drop delivers aid to Deir al-Zour, Syria

The UN says it has carried out its first air drop of aid in Syria to help civilians in an eastern city besieged by Islamic State (IS) militants, the BBC reports.

UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council that the plane dropped 21 tonnes of humanitarian items on a government-held part of Deir al-Zour.

Initial reports indicated that the aid had successfully reached the target area, Mr O’Brien said.

The UN says 200,000 civilians are living under siege in Deir al-Zour.

In a recent report, the UN said those trapped in the besieged areas were facing “sharply deteriorating conditions” with reports of “severe cases of malnutrition and deaths due to starvation”.

Last week, more than 100 lorries carrying food and other basic goods reached 80,000 people in five other besieged areas of Syria. Two more convoys were sent to two towns besieged by government forces on Tuesday.

“Earlier this morning, a WFP (World Food Programme) plane dropped the first cargo of 21 tonnes of items into Deir al-Zour,” Mr O’Brien told the Security Council.

He said teams from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent on the ground confirmed that “pallets have landed in the target area as planned”.

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