Residents of a remote area of Syria’s Latakia province have received about a ton of humanitarian aid, delivered by the Russian military, a representative of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria told reporters on Tuesday.
“We have delivered about a ton of humanitarian aid for low-income families from the Blouta and Hambushiya villages, located in a remote mountainous area of Latakia province. The locals got flour, canned fish and meat, as well as cereals,” the representative of the Reconciliation Center said.
Suleiman Dib, an elder of the Blouta village and the Hambushiya village, said that about 350 people currently live there. More than 100 people from among the most needy have received humanitarian aid.
“Thank Russia and the Russian people for this aid. Many families have lost their breadwinners in the war, and they really need support”, Dib said.
According to the elder, militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups in August 2013 seized both the villages, killing about 130 civilians and abducted more than 100 people, 40 of whom were later released from captivity with mediation of Russia’s negotiators. “The militants committed a real massacre. The terrorists killed about 130 civilians. In 16 days, the Syrian army and people’s militia released our villages,” he said.
Dib said that the terrorists’ current positions are located 20 kilometers from Blouta and do not pose a threat to the village and its surroundings. The village residents who fled have now returned to their homes, and the farmers again work on their land. The state has restored the infrastructure destroyed by terrorists and helps the local population to repair their damaged homes. However, many men are in the army or fighting against militants in the ranks of the people’s militia.
A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.
An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.
The Russian Reconciliation Center aims to assist armed groups in Syria in concluding ceasefire agreements, maintain the truce regime, control its observance and organize the delivery of humanitarian cargoes to civilians.