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Red Cross makes inspection visit to Syria

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) revealed on Wednesday that it had had access to two regions badly affected by the violence in Syria.

An ICRC spokesman said representatives had visited the southern town of Deraa on June 28 and the northwestern town of Idlib on June 28 and 29.

The purpose of the visit was to make a “rapid assessment of the needs … to bring aid as quickly as possible” to the people, he said. The mission had already supplied first aid kits; other aid could be sent once the mission had submitted its report.

The ICRC had been demanding access for several weeks. On June 19 its president, Jakob Kellenberger, went to Syria and discussed the issue with the prime minister and foreign minister.

The authorities agreed at that time to give the organisation greater access to civilians and areas affected by the conflict.

Unrest broke out in Deraa on March 15, and has since spread to towns all over the country. According to a tally kept by the politically independent organisation Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 1,400 civilians and 350 police and soldiers had died in the violence up to July 6.

Thousands of people have fled the country for neighbouring Turkey.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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