Who set Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s warehouse in the heavily besieged city of Homs on fire?
Saleh Dabbakeh, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Damascus, told Beirut-based news agency Al-Akhbar that the building was razed to the ground. Dabbakeh, however, refused to comment on what — or who — may have caused the incident.
Homs, often referred to as the capital of the revolution, has seen some heavy government shelling since the start of the uprising last year. The Red Cross negotiated with the government for weeks to allow its local chapter to provide a “steady supply” of aid and medical care to devastated areas in the city, including Baba Amr. And on March 1, the Syrian government gave the Red Cross permission to enter the district to deliver food and medical aid to people sandwiched in the fighting.
No casualties were reported in the fire, but the incident has stalled the organization’s operations in the city. A source close to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent told Reuters the organization was supposed to distribute aid the day the warehouse was burned to the ground.
“Somebody set fire to that building. People knew what that building was, and what was in it,” the source said.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent is the only major aid group that has access to Syrians affected by the fighting in the country. But several journalists and Syrian activists view the organizations as too closely tied to the government — a perception that has brought serious problems to the organization in terms of donor support.
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