UN: By Blocking Aid, Syria Not Upholding Its Side of Cease-fire Agreement

Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry said the United States was using 'a verbal smokescreen' to hide its reluctance to fulfill its part of the truce in Syria.

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Syrian men carrying babies make their way through the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported airstrike in Aleppo on September 11, 2016.
Putin has decided to preserve the Assad regime, no matter what: Syrian men carrying babies make their way through Aleppo's rubble following airstrikes, September 11, 2016.Credit: Ameer Alhalbi, AFP

Convoys of aid trucks destined for the war-torn city of Aleppo have been held up by the Syrian Government, the United Nations says, breaching a peace deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia.

"We have a problem," UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura said.

"The government, I repeat the government, was expected to provide facilitation letters - it's a bureaucratic word, translated into English, permits, authorizations," he said.

"Those facilitation letters, i.e. final permission for the UN to actually reach those areas (needing aid), have not been received."

De Mistura said the permits were needed immediately.

The UN said two aid convoys, each of around 20 trucks carrying mostly food and flour, that were headed for Aleppo had been held up since crossing the Turkish border.

There is continuing international pressure for all sides to allow food aid convoys to reach besieged areas, especially Syria's second main city of Aleppo, the scene of fierce fighting in recent months.

Russia: U.S. not upholding its part of deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in Moscow, Russia on March 24, 2016. Credit: REUTERS

Russia's Defense Ministry said on Thursday the United States was using "a verbal smokescreen" to hide its reluctance to fulfill its part of a cease-fire agreement on Syria, including separation of moderate opposition units from terrorist groups.

After the third day of the cease-fire which came into force on Monday evening, only Syria's government forces are observing the truce, the ministry said in a statement.

It said that units of the opposition "controlled by the U.S." have intensified their shelling of civilian residential areas.

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