UN official: Focus is on land delivery of aid to Syrians

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The United Nations says it is focusing on delivering humanitarian aid by road to millions of Syrians in need of help in the war-torn country — despite an earlier announcement it would formally ask Damascus to allow air drops to besieged areas.

The U.N. had requested access to 34 locations in June to help 1.1 million people and Syria approved 23 requests in full and six partially, while rejecting five.

France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre, the current Security Council president, said Friday the U.N. would send Damascus a letter on Sunday asking to allow air drops to all the areas where access was denied.

But Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters the U.N. is now concentrating on land-based deliveries rather than parachuting supplies or sending aid by helicopter.