A 48-hour truce in Daraya and Moadamiyah allowed medical convoys to enter the besieged Syrian towns on Wednesday. However, the deliveries did not include food, forcing the United States, United Kingdom and France to urge for airdrops for humanitarian aid in the towns.
The International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which includes the U.S., Britain and Russia, had decided that if the Assad regime doesn't permit World Food Programme (WFP) aid and land convoys to enter the towns they would begin airdrops from June 1 to Daraya, Douma, East Harasta and Moadamiyah.
The residents in the besieged towns require "sustained and regular" access to aid, John Kirby, the U.S. State Department spokesman, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"While air drops are complex, costly and risky, they are now the last resort to relieve human suffering across many besieged areas," Philip Hammond, the British Foreign Secretary, was quoted as saying by BBC.
The Wednesday convoy into Daraya was the first since 2012. Last month a convoy was turned away even while residents gathered in the town waiting for medical supplies, food, and other necessities. The residents who had gathered for aid were reportedly shelled by the regime.
"The last time, people were filling the streets waiting for the aid to come in," activist Shadi Matar told Agence France Presse from inside Daraya. "This time, there was no one. They were afraid the regime would shell them and they knew the convoy only held medical aid."
The U.S. and the U.K. have reportedly sought help from Moscow and Tehran, who hold influence over Assad, to allow safe delivery of aid through airdrops. However, the Middle East Eye said that the project was unlikely to be carried out as it was too dangerous without Moscow and Damascus' approval.
The 48-hour calm was brokered by Russia, its Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by ABC News.