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UN To Ask Damascus To Approve Air Drops Of Aid -- Diplomats

Diplomats say the United Nations will formally ask the Syrian government on June 5 to allow the air drop of humanitarian aid to besieged areas.

World powers have been calling for air operations in areas where access by land has been denied by the regime.

But the UN aid chief, Stephen O'Brien, told the UN Security Council on June 3 that consent from Damascus is needed to carry out such operations, according to diplomats who were at the closed-door meeting.

Damascus is expected to take some time to respond to the request and UN officials have said the air drops are "not imminent."

On June 2, the Syrian government announced that it approved the delivery of aid to 36 "restive areas" and partial deliveries to eight other areas in June.

The UN says at least 592,000 people live under siege in Syria.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters