France and Russia carry out first joint aid mission in Syria

France and Russia carry out first joint aid mission in Syria

France and Russia on Saturday despatched a plane carrying humanitarian aid to the ravaged former Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, which was retaken by government forces in April after a five-year siege, Telegraph.co.uk reported.

A Russian Antonov 124 military cargo plane carrying 50 tons of medical aid and humanitarian supplies left the airport at the central French city of Chateauroux at 3am (0100 GMT), the airport's head Mark Bottemine told AFP.

Undertaken as part of a UN Security Council resolution, "the aim of this project is to enable civilian populations better access to aid," a joint Franco-Russian statement said.

The plane is heading for Russia's Hmeimim air base in the west of Syria. It is the first joint humanitarian aid operation between Russia and a western country.

The aid will be distributed on Saturday under the supervision of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA).

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