WFP Seeks Syria OK for Air Drops

GENEVA (AP) -- The World Food Program says U.N. officials are appealing to the Syrian government to get permission for air drops to besieged areas of the war-torn country.

WFP says it is "activating" the air delivery plan following a request from the International Syria Support Group of mostly regional and world powers led by the U.S. and Russia, but that it needs authorizations and funding first.

Government forces have surrounded most of the 19 U.N.-designated "besieged areas" in Syria.

WFP said late Thursday that 15 of them would require helicopter operations for the air drops if land access is not granted. It says high-altitude airdrops would be possible in the villages of Fouah and Kfraya, in addition to the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor where airdrops have already taken place.