More than 36 tons of humanitarian aid, including clothes, food and medicines have been delivered to needy Syrians throughout the country in the past nine days, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said on Saturday.

Russian forces have carried out about a dozen humanitarian missions directly on the ground and through air lifts in Hama, Deir e Zor, Rif Damashq and Aleppo, including districts of Hananu Al Amaliyah, Qasiliyah and Sheikh Maqsood, as well as Wadi Dahab in Homs.

“In the Aleppo Province’s Manbij the locals received one ton of bread and 1,000 food sets,” the Center said in statements carried by the Russian news agency TASS.

There has been easier access to civilians since Aleppo was recaptured by government forces in December leading to a nationwide ceasefire that is still largely holding.

However, fighting against Islamist forces has increased, particularly as rebels affiliated with the US are preparing to storm the Islamic State’s self-styled capital of Raqqa.

On Saturday, Fateh al-Sham – an Al-Qaeda affiliate formly known as Al Nusra Front – claimed responsibility for the double suicide bombing which killed 44 mostly Iraqi pilgrims at popular shrines in Damascus.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies