NEW YORK, 17th January, 2017 (WAM)–The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that it has been forced to suspend airdrops of food to residents of the besieged Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor because of heavy fighting between Government forces and the Daesh.

“There is heavy fighting going on in and around the landing zone and in the parts of the city where the food distributions are taking place, said WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher as she informed reporters in Geneva that the airdrops had been suspended as of Sunday. Airdrops require a large and completely safe drop zone area where cargo is released and collected by a team on the ground for delivery.

She stressed that partners on the ground could not expose the lives of the 60 volunteers who were in that open landing zone and would receive the supplies and distribute them, she said: “It is too precarious for the moment to continue the operation. WFP needs to make sure the volunteers are safe.”