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Russian defense minister urges UN to step up humanitarian assistance to Syria

September 11, 2017, 12:19 UTC+3

The minister voiced concern about humanitarian situation in the refugees’ camps in Al Tanf and Akerbat where some 60,000 people are staying

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu sent a letter to UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura calling on the international community to boost assistance to the Syrian citizens, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Shoigu called on Staffan de Mistura to "immediately step up humanitarian assistance in the framework of the United Nations and humanitarian organizations and take an active part in restoring the destroyed houses, schools, hospitals and infrastructure facilities," the ministry said.

The letter says that the government forces backed by Russia’s Aerospace Forces have liberated Syria’s territory from terrorists, creating conditions for restoring peaceful life. However, not all Syrians can quickly return home. The terrorists have ruined many settlements and thousands of houses, schools, hospitals and social infrastructure facilities there, Shoigu said.

The minister voiced concern about the dire humanitarian situation in the refugees’ camps in Al Tanf and Akerbat where some 60,000 people are staying. The Syrians need more than 1,000 tonnes of food and also over 80 tonnes of medicines.

"The Russian side consistently offers humanitarian and medical assistance, carries out a mine clearing effort in the liberated territories and solves many related issues of restoring peaceful life. To ensure that hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees could return home as soon as possible, there is the need to consolidate efforts of the entire international community," the ministry said.

On its official website, the ministry published a list of Syrian settlements, which are in dire need of receiving assistance and restoring the destroyed houses. This list will be updated by the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria on a daily basis.

Shoigu earlier sent a letter to the president of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Peter Maurer, calling on him to immediately increase humanitarian assistance for Syria.

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