UN aid chief accuses Syria of using suffering as war tactic

AP News
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Posted: May 30, 2017 8:32 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief is accusing the Syrian government of increasingly using civilian suffering as "a tactic of war," saying it denies aid and pushes people in cities under attack to choose between starvation and death or fleeing to places just as unsafe.

Stephen O'Brien told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that at least 10 communities faced this choice in recent months while in recent weeks thousands more have been moved from two besieged neighborhoods in Damascus and one in Homs.

He says Syria's government is also denying and delaying access, particularly to besieged locations, as "a political calculation and a military tactic."

O'Brien says the U.N. requested aid deliveries to 1 million people in April and May, but the government approved help for only 266,750 people.