Russia's largest batch of humanitarian aid ever sent to Syria has been delivered to the Arab country's port of Tartus.
The 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, consistent of mostly foodstuffs, arrived in the port on Wednesday. It was delivered via two transport vessels, Sparta-1 and Sparta-2.
"This is the biggest humanitarian aid supply batch delivered to Syria by sea. It mainly consists of foodstuffs — flour, sugar, canned goods. At the same time, the canned goods deliveries take into account the traditions of the population, so it is beef and fish,” said Russia's military commandant at the port.
While addressing reporters, Tartus Mayor Haidar Murhej thanked Russia for its humanitarian efforts, while stressing that the aid would be swiftly distributed among those in need.
"First of all we appreciate the help and thank Russia for the support. As you know our countries have maintained friendly relations since the times of the USSR. The humanitarian cargo we received will soon be delivered to the regions which need it the most. First of all to the refugee camps and to the territories recently liberated from the terrorists," he said.
- Russia, Syria ink agreement on expanding Tartus naval base
- Russian forces enable aid delivery by repairing Syrian railroad
- Iran sends two more consignments of relief aid to Syria’s Aleppo
Earlier in the year, Russia and Syria signed an agreement on the development and modernization of the leased military installation of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean port city, and extending operations there to the next decades.
Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. Backed by Russian air cover, the Syrian military is engaged in an operation to rid the country of Daesh and other terrorist groups.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then. No up-to-date official tallies are available from the Syrian conflict.