The vital humanitarian aid Russia is providing represents the first steps towards returning life to normal for Syrians
Russian forces are supplying humanitarian assistance to civilian areas in eastern Syria following months of intensive bombing in support of President Bashar al-Assad, a Russian general announced.
“The inhabitants are gradually coming back to Syrian cities and peaceful life is returning,” General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian General Staff official, told reporters on Friday. “In this context, the implementation of humanitarian operations will be a new line of work for the Russian armed forces in Syria.”
Rudskoi said that most of the aid is being sent to the city of Deir Ezzor, and credited the return of “normal life” to Russia’s campaign against IS. The Deir Ezzor district is one of the few Syrian government strongholds in eastern Syria.
Supply routes to the city of 100,000 were cut off by Islamic State when the militants seized Palmyra in May 2015, with the only supplies coming in by helicopter.
General Rudskoi said Syria’s Il-76 military transport planes had airdropped 22 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Deir Ezzor using Russian equipment.
“It will be distributed by local authorities,” Rudskoi added.
The general stated that the launching of these operations was due to “extremists” grabbing aid sent to rebel-controlled areas.
“In the future we will give to the Syrian people all possible assistance when it comes to liberating the country from extremists and rebuilding peaceful life,” Rudsoi added.
Meanwhile, an agreement signed by Russia and Syria back in August 2015 revealed the latter’s approval for an unrestricted Russian military presence in the war-torn country.