YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia sent on Tuesday, February 14, a fresh batch of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Syria suffering from the country’s devastating civil war.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said a Russian transport plane delivered the 18 metric tons of relief aid — mainly canned food — to a Russian airbase in Khmeimim in northwestern Syria. Photographs released by the ministry showed Russian military personnel there unloading it from the Ilyushin-72 plane in the presence of Armenia’s consul general in Aleppo, Tigran Gevorgian.
The packs of relief supplies bore inscriptions in Armenian and Arabic: “With warm wishes for peace from Armenia to the brotherly people of Syria!”
The aircraft was loaded with the cargo at the Erebuni airbase in Yerevan during a ceremony attended by Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan and the Russian ambassador to Armenia, Ivan Volynkin.
Sargsyan discussed the aid delivery with Russia’s First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov when they met in the Armenian capital on January 28.
The Armenian government already sent two planeloads of similar aid to Syria in October amid intensifying fighting in Aleppo. The war-ravaged city, which fell under full Syrian government control in December, was home to the majority of an estimated 80,000 ethnic Armenians who lived in Syria before the outbreak of the bloody conflict.
Only several thousand Syrian Armenians are thought to remain in Aleppo at present. Thousands of others have fled to Armenia during the conflict.