News24

Red Cross gets aid to Syrian city

2012-02-27 17:57

Damascus - Red Cross teams reached Hama for the first time in more than a month on Monday, delivering food and other goods to the central Syrian city battered by a military crackdown on the anti-government uprising.

Activist groups reported the death toll for 11 months of unrest has surpassed 8 000.

Hicham Hassan, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson in Geneva, said a joint team of the ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent brought an emergency delivery of food and other items for 12 000 people.

He told The Associated Press it was the first time the aid group has been able to enter Hama since January 17.

The city has been hard hit by a government crackdown and villages and towns nearby frequently witness anti-government protests and clashes between troops and military defectors.

In Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against military intervention in Syria or an attack on its ally Iran in scathing criticism of the West.

He said the West had backed the Arab Spring to advance its own interests in the region, and that instead of promoting democracy, the revolts had given rise to religious extremism.