Elsewhere online
December 15, 2015

Charities Say Russian Strikes Worsening Syria Aid Crisis

Aid agencies say the humanitarian situation in northern Syria is rapidly deteriorating as Russian forces step up bombing in the region, The Washington Post writes.

The strikes — which began in late September and escalated after Turkey shot down a Russian military plane along the Syrian border on November 24 — are reportedly killing and wounding civilians, knocking out medical and food facilities, and blocking aid-supply routes, forcing relief groups to curtail or halt operations.

"This is an emerging humanitarian crisis. There is extreme suffering, and people are not being protected," said Rae McGrath, Turkey and Northern Syria director for Mercy Corps, which has had to cut aid delivery by four-fifths since the Russian strikes began. Aid workers say hits on civilian facilities like hospitals and bakeries are frequent and appear to be systematic in areas controlled by rebel groups opposing President Bashar al-Assad, a Kremlin ally.