The Latest: WFP sends relief to Syria’s Deir el-Zour by land


BEIRUT (AP) – The Latest on the developments in Syria’s (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

The U.N.’s World Food Program is halting its air drops to Deir El Zour after five of its trucks were able to reach the city with food relief.

The convoy, carrying enough wheat to feed 70,000 people, was the first from the WFP to reach the city in over three years, it said in a statement Sunday.

With the city besieged by militants from the Islamic State group, the WFP began delivering aid through high-altitude air drops in April last year. It flew missions five times a week and completed 309 air drops before halting the program. Nearly 100,000 people were trapped under the siege.

Pro-government forces broke the siege on September 5 and secured the highway to the capital, Damascus, shortly after. They now control two-thirds of the city.


4:00 p.m.

A Russian military spokesman is denying claims that a Russian airstrike wounded six fighters from a U.S.-backed opposition force in Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Saturday that its fighters had been hit in the airstrike near the eastern city of Deir el-Zour in an area that recently had been liberated from the Islamic State group.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov denied the claim Sunday, saying that “Russian air forces carry out pinpoint strikes only on IS targets that have been observed and confirmed through several channels,” according to state news agency TASS.