TODAY’S MESOP LATEST : FIRST UNHCR AID TO WEST KURDISTAN
The United Nations is planning its first aid airlift into Syria from Iraq this week. According to the refugee agency, UNHCR, it will begin delivering food and winter supplies to the mainly Kurdish northeastern cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli, with up to 12 flights scheduled between Thursday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces are continuing an offensive in the mountainous Qalamoun region after overtaking much of the town of Nabak Monday and gaining control over a strategic highway connecting Homs with Damascus. On Tuesday, regime forces bombarded the town of Yabroud, reportedly the last rebel stronghold in the area, launching airstrikes and shelling the town with heavy artillery. The government campaign in the region is aiming to cut off an opposition supply route that runs across the nearby border with Lebanon. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo has reported two of its journalists have been kidnapped in Syria. According to El Mundo, reporter Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were abducted on September 16 along with four members of the Free Syrian Army and are being held captive by the al Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.