The United Nations on Friday suspended its planned humanitarian operations in Syria because of an increase of military activities in concerned areas of the war-torn country.
UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s office said it would now seek the implementation of a cease-fire agreement in the concerned areas.
Syrian regime and opposition forces had agreed to a cease-fire agreement in September, according to which the cease-fire is expected to be enforced in the city of Zabadani in the Rif Dimashq province near the Lebanese border and the towns of Kefraya and Fua, both of which are located in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
The cease-fire is meant to allow food and medical supplies to be delivered to civilian populations in the three areas.
“The UN calls on all concerned parties to fulfill their responsibilities in the protection of civilians and reach the necessary understandings in order to implement this agreement as soon as possible,” Mistura office said in a statement on Friday.
“The Syrian population in these affected areas is waiting for this agreement to be implemented so that the needed humanitarian assistance can be provided to end their long-standing suffering,” the statement said.
Syria’s devastating civil war, now in its fifth year, has claimed more than 250,000 lives, according to UN figures, and caused a security vacuum that paved the way for extremist groups such as Daesh to gain a foothold in the region