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Syria Agrees to Allow More Aid for Besieged Towns

FILE - A convoy of trucks loaded with humanitarian supplies are seen heading to the besieged town of Madaya, about 40 kilometers northwest of Damascus, Syria, for a U.N.-aid distribution, Jan. 14, 2016.

The United Nations humanitarian office said it will send the Syrian government a detailed list of aid it wants to deliver to three besieged towns after getting an agreement "in principle" to make deliveries to people who are badly in need of food and other supplies.

The U.N. did not give a date Monday for when the deliveries to Madaya, Foua and Kfarya will take place.

Madaya, about 40 kilometers northwest of Damascus, has been under siege by government forces for months, while rebels have blocked Foua and Kfarya in Idlib province for more than a year.

The U.N. teamed with the International Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent to bring food and medical supplies to all three areas under a similar agreement with the government last month.

Aid workers described harsh conditions, particularly in Madaya, where the U.N. reported cases of severe malnourishment and only two doctors working to help the population of 40,000 people.

There are 15 besieged areas across Syria, which the U.N. estimates are home to 400,000 people.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reminded all sides in the Syrian civil war that using starvation as a weapon is a war crime.