Damascus, Syria – The Syrian regime has reportedly expelled three U.N. aid workers, officials said on Friday.
The U.N. reports emphasize that expelling its workers will prevent aid delivery to affected civilians in war-torn areas of Syria.
Expelling the three aid workers comes one day before the U.N. special envoy Steffan de Mistura arrives in Damascus to discuss his peace plan with Syrian regimes officials.
De Mistura’s proposal is supposed to start with creating a so-called “freeze-zone” above the war-torn city of Aleppo in order to suspend the fighting between the conflicting parties and the shelling against civilians for a minimum period of six weeks.
“We are extremely concerned that two OCHA staff, doing essential work with opposition parties on the ground to secure access for the delivery of urgently-needed humanitarian supplies, have been asked to leave the country without any reason given,” said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Laerke referred to the two OCHA aid workers as essential field officers.
The third aid worker expelled from Syria was a senior UNICEF staff who used to work in Aleppo on the delivery of humanitarian aid to children.
“This news is of great concern, given the extremely difficult situation for children in Aleppo amid the continuing violence there,” said Simon Ingram, a spokesman of the U.N. Children’s Fund.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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