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Russian military deliver 16 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Hama province

June 03, 2016, 8:46 UTC+3 AL-ALAMEIN (Syria)
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AL-ALAMEIN (Syria), June 3. /TASS/. The Russian military have delivered to Syria’s Hama province 16 tons of food products, spokesman for Russia’s center for reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria, Colonel Sergey Ivanov told journalists on Friday. It is the largest relief supply batch since the humanitarian action started.

Refugees from the town of Zara and the inhabitants of the of Al-Alamein settlement got bread baked in Syria from Russian flour, bags with individual food rations, canned fish and meat, flour, pasta and cereals. Children received sweets, waffles and biscuits. Russian military medics have deployed a mobile medical center and provided medical aid to all who needed it.

"They brought a record amount of humanitarian aid - 16 tons. Flour, cereals, canned fish, canned meat, and bread baked in a state factory in the city of Hama specially from our flour," Ivanov said. According to him, 16 women and four children, who were abducted in Zara by militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham terrorist groups (outlawed in Russia) have been released with the assistance of the Russian negotiators. Currently, representatives of the reconciliation center are working on the release of other hostages.

Ivanov said that despite attempts by terrorists to destabilize the situation in Hama, the reconciliation process is developing and cannot be stopped. "The military situation in this region is very complicated, but the reconciliation process does not stop. There are those among the militants who want to side with the government troops, only it is necessary to help them," the reconciliation center representative said.

According to governor of Hama Hassan Omar Haljaf, the government troops with support of the Russian Aerospace Forces control the situation in the province. He thanked Russia for its support in the fight against international terrorism and for humanitarian assistance. "Russia’s humanitarian has arrived quickly to support these people who suffered from terrorists. So I once again extend a big thank you to the Russian Federation, the Russian people, and President Vladimir Putin for their support to our country," the governor said.

According to a woman who fled Zara from terrorists, refugees from her village really need support. According to the woman, "the militants started their attack suddenly, and the locals did not have the time to save their belongings. They attacked exactly at 4 am, firing missiles, shells on us. It was terrible. People were fleeing homes, running away barefoot, but some were not lucky - the militants caught them and executed," she said.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start, from March 15, withdrawing the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military "have been fulfilled on the whole." Two Russian military facilities - at the Khmeimim aerodrome and in Tartus, are still operational in Syria. The Russian military continue to take an active part in the fight against terrorist groups. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.

A ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States officially came into effect in Syria on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

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