Syrian ceasefire extended for embattled city of Homs

The United Nations welcomed news that the temporary truce in the embattled city of Homs has been extended for an additional three days by the Syrian government. Despite the declared "humanitarian pause," eleven people were killed during the relief operation in Homs.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Feb. 10, 2014 at 9:14 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The Syrian government announced Monday that it would extend a temporary truce for the embattled city of Homs for an additional three days.

United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos welcomed the extension with the hope that it "will allow us to evacuate yet more civilians and deliver much needed additional supplies."

Since the temporary truce was enacted on February 7, more than 800 residents of Old Homs have been evacuated.

Despite the declaration of a "humanitarian pause," UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid workers were targeted during the relief operation and eleven people killed. Amos responded to the violated ceasefire, stating "It is absolutely unacceptable that UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid workers were deliberately targeted. I am deeply disappointed that the parties were unable to hold their ceasefire in Homs."

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres commended the courage of the humanitarian aid workers operating in Homs.

"I would like to pay tribute to the enormous courage of the volunteers of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the staff of the UN who carried out a humanitarian evacuation effort of civilians as well as an aid delivery operation in Homs in the most dangerous of circumstances.

"This shows that even in the darkest of nights it is possible to offer a glimmer of hope to people in desperate need of assistance.

"I am particularly encouraged by the determination of our staff to go on trying to help those who so far haven’t been reached with critical, lifesaving aid."

[United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees]

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