by WorldTribune Staff, June 12, 2016
Syrian helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the town of Daraya on June 10 just hours after its starving residents began receiving food aid for the first time in nearly four years.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault accused the regime of President Bashar Assad of “extraordinary duplicity” as the airstrikes hit amid aid workers’ efforts to distribute supplies to thousands of desperate people.
Ayrault said he was “outraged beyond words,” declaring the end of an already shaky ceasefire and calling on world powers to meet.
A convoy of trucks arrived in Daraya late on June 9, delivering rice, lentils, sugar, oil and wheat flour to civilians for the first time since the regime laid siege to the town in late 2012. The town is held by anti-Assad rebels.
Local council member Shadi Mattar said aid had not yet been fully distributed “because of the intensity of the raids.”
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said “such attacks are unacceptable in any circumstance, but in this case they also hampered the delivery and distribution of badly needed assistance.”
Meanwhile, on June 9 the Arab-Kurdish alliance of fighters backed by the United States cut Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s (ISIL’s) main supply route between Syria and Turkey as troops surrounded the strategic town of Manbij.
“The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) cut off the last road from Manbij to the Turkish border,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Brett McGurk, U.S. envoy to the SDF, said cutting the supply line took away an important route for ISIL fighters looking to attack Europe.
“Daesh terrorists now completely surrounded with no way out,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Manbij is where we believe the Paris attackers, the Brussels attackers, they all kind of pulsed through this area,” McGurk said. “From Raqqa up to Manbij and then out to the capitals where they had organized their attack.”