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'Impossible' to bring an aid convoy in five hours to Ghouta - ICRC

GENEVA (Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross is ready to access Syria’s besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta to deliver life-saving aid, but the proposed five-hour pause is too short, a senior ICRC official said in a statement on Tuesday.

Without mentioning Russia, the author of the proposal, ICRC Middle East director Robert Mardini said humanitarian corridors must be well-planned and agreed to by all warring sides, while people should be allowed to leave of their own free will.

“It is impossible to bring a humanitarian convoy in five hours. We have a long experience of bringing aid across frontlines in Syria, and we know that it may take up to one day to simply pass checkpoints, despite the previous agreement of all parties. Then you need to offload the goods,” he said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Tom Miles