Jordan OKs use of cranes to drop aid for displaced Syrians

AP News
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Posted: Jan 07, 2018 11:03 AM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan said on Sunday that it will permit a one-time crane drop of U.N. aid to tens of thousands of displaced Syrians stranded in harsh conditions along the Jordan-Syria border.

The kingdom sealed its border with Syria in 2016, after Islamic State extremists killed seven Jordanian border guards.

The closure ended regular U.N. aid shipments from Jordan to displaced Syrians struggling for survival in a remote stretch of desert.

Jordan alleges that the Rukban border camp has been infiltrated by the Islamic State group and that cross-border traffic endangers the kingdom. It insists that the U.N. deliver aid from war-ravaged Syria.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry said the kingdom would permit the use of a crane but only this once. A crane drop involves having a crane pick up a container with aid from the Jordanian side of the sealed border, lift it across and drop it off on the Syrian side.

The ministry's decision came after the United Nations submitted a plan for aid delivery from Syria.

U.N. refugee agency officials were not immediately available for comment.