HMEYMIM /Syria/, December 13. /TASS/. Militants disrupted the delivery of a 156-tonne humanitarian consignment to residents in Syria’s de-escalation zone Homs on Wednesday, the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said.
"Gunmen of the armed units operating in the Homs de-escalation zone continue to hinder international agencies’ humanitarian access to local residents," the center said. "On December 13, representatives of anti-government armed groups barred the UN convoy heading for the populated locality of Kafer el-Laha and demanded a larger amount of aid."
The UN mission had to take the humanitarian relief aid back to the base, the center said.
"As a result of the armed opposition’s irresponsible actions, residents in the de-escalation zone were deprived of 156 tonnes of aid," they added.
De-escalation zones in Syria
At the Astana meeting on Syria in May, the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations (Russia, Iran and Turkey) signed a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.
The three de-escalation zones are in Syria’s southwest, in Eastern Ghouta (Damascus suburbs) and near Homs. The fourth zone covers the Idlib Province and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Latakia and Hama. Starting from May 6, military activities and aircraft flights in the de-escalation zones were banned.
On December 11, in his address to Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim air base Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military grouping to begin withdrawal from Syria after a crushing defeat of Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia). Nevertheless, two Russian military bases - Hmeymim and Tartus - will remain in Syria along with the Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria.