The northern Syrian city of Aleppo — specifically, the eastern portion of the city — has officially been classified by the United Nations as a “besieged area.”
The designation follows an unending stream of attacks over a period of months in which Syrian regime forces have been battering away at the eastern side of the city, a stronghold of opposition forces.
Aid workers have been unable to gain access to the area to deliver humanitarian supplies, despite several negotiated ceasefires, all of which have been violated.
UN Humanitarian Agency spokesperson Jens Laerke announced Wednesday that in light of the most recent violation of the ceasefire arranged by Russia and the United States, Aleppo meets all three official criteria for designation of a besieged area: 1. military encirclement 2. lack of humanitarian access, and 3. lack of free movement for civilians.
An estimated 250,000 to 275,000 civilians remain trapped in eastern Aleppo, without the means to access medical or other care, or supplies.
Because the western portion of the city is controlled by the Syrian government, those residents do have access to some aid.
There are 17 other areas in Syria with similar designations.