LATEST: World Health Organization: Regime Approves Aid to 3 Areas That Were Formerly Off-Limits

President Assad hosted Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani on Sunday, but there was no news on the critical issue of Iran’s economic assistance to the Syrian regime.

State news agency SANA reported the standard declarations from Assad about “the Syrians’ resolve to eradicate terrorism and extremist thoughts that are menacing the region and the world”. The President also repeated his endpoint of “national reconciliations across Syria” to resolve the 45-month conflict.

According to SANA, “Larijani made it clear that the people of Iran will not hesitate to provide all forms of support to Syria to the effect of further consolidating the requirements of this steadfastness and fighting terrorism and its backers.”

However, the agency did not refer to the critical issue broached by Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi in his meetings in Tehran last week — will Iran approved a new aid package when its $3.6 billion line of credit — mainly for oil products and food — is soon exhausted?

Instead, SANA made a vague allusion to the issue through this statement attributed to al-Halqi: “Syrian-Iranian cooperation realizes the hopes of the region’s people, lauding Iran’s support for the Syrian people in the face of the unjust economic embargo imposed on them.”

Iran’s Press TV puts out the same lines — unsurprisingly, given that the Iranians have a press office which coordinates with Syrian counterparts — quoting Larijani after his discussion with Assad: “The Iranian government and nation are standing by the Syrian people and are prepared to expand all-out cooperation with the Syrian government in order to establish regional stability and security.”

The Speaker also offered this assessment as he met al-Halqi, “In my view the situation in Syria will be better in the near future.”

World Health Organization: Regime Approves Aid to 3 Areas That Were Formerly Off-Limits

The World Health Organization said Monday that the Assad regime has approved the delivery of medicine and surgical supplies to three areas that were previously off-limits.

Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO’s Syria representative, said the areas freed for access are Aleppo, the besieged Damascus suburb of Moadimiyeh, and the East Ghouta area near the capital.

The United Nations has said that 4.7 million Syrians live in areas that are difficult to reach, including at least 241,000 people who are besieged by either regime or opposition forces.

Video: Aftermath of Regime Airstrike on Binnish in Idlib Province

Aftermath of a regime attack on Binnish in Idlib Province in northwest Syria, with rescuers trying to reach the wounded under rubble:

After losing territory — including two major bases — in the province, the regime has stepped up its strikes on populated areas.