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U.S. Suggests Russian Planes Drop Food Aid In Besieged Syrian Towns

The United States has suggested that Russia use its planes stationed in Syria to drop food into communities that are under siege and blocked from receiving aid by the Syrian government.

The UN' World Food Program has been unable to make deliveries in towns that have been blockaded by the government even though Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia had agreed to allow them.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner on June 8 accused Russia of not living up to its commitment and suggested Russia is well positioned to do the drops itself.

"We are obviously disappointed, to put it mildly that...Russia has not taken any demonstrable steps to support of humanitarian relief," he said. "But, you know...Russia actually has air assets on the ground in Syria and ostensibly has the permission of the Syrian government to fly."

Asked if this meant he was suggesting that Russia itself carry out the food drops, since Assad was unlikely to block his ally's flights, a department official told AFP that Toner was "throwing down the gauntlet" to see if Moscow was serious about helping Syrian civilians.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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