03/11/2016, 10.47
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In Syria, women and children form an SOS to ask UN for help

A demonstration is held in Darayya, a town south of Damascus that has been besieged by government troops for three years. One banner is directed at the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Residents in a Syrian town lined up to form the letters "SOS".

Women and children in Darayya, about ten kilometres outside the Syrian capital of Damascus, staged a demonstration urging the United Nations to let humanitarian aid into their area during the current truce in Syria’s civil war.

In a direct stab at the United Nations, protesters displayed banners criticising the world body. "[UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria] Mr Yacoub El Hillo, what are you doing to help us," read one.

The opposition Media Centre in Darayya said that the reason the protest was attended mainly by women and children was to dispel the regime's claims that the town is only inhabited by combatants.

Before the war, Darayya had a population of almost 80,000 people. According to one tradition, it is place where Saint Paul had his conversion "on the road to Damascus".

For the past three years, it has been surrounded by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Darayya borders a military airport used by Russian planes – which started air strikes in support of Assad in late September – and the Syrian government is keen to wrest back control of the area.

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