UN demands Syria aid

The UN Security Council approved a resolution to boost humanitarian aid to Syria.  

In a rare Saturday session, the 15-member council unanimously approved the measure calling on all factions in the ongoing civil war to let assistance be delivered to millions of people struggling throughout the country.

“We are all keenly aware of the profound and prolonged desperation of the Syrian people. If this resolution is implemented quickly and in good faith, at least some of the suffering can be eased,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a statement Saturday.

The Associated Press reported that this was the first time that the UN council was able to unite and pass a resolution dealing with the Syrian crisis. 

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Pompeo faces pivotal vote MORE said the agreement is "all about saving innocent lives and relieving the burden on Syria's neighboring countries."

"After three years of slaughter and savagery, people rightfully will question whether progress is possible, but this resolution holds the promise of something real," he said in a statement.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict between rebels and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. There are more than 2.4 million refugees registered in the region — spread across Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt — according to the UN Refugee Agency.

 “This resolution should not have been necessary. Humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law,” said the UN chief. “Profoundly shocking to me is that both sides are besieging civilians as a tactic of war.”

This story was updated at 7:38 p.m.