Aid operations were due to start in besieged areas of Homs Friday, a US official said, as Syria and the UN agreed to hold a “humanitarian pause” on fighting in the devastated city.
The agreement came as an NGO said more than 250 people have died in regime barrel-bomb attacks on Aleppo, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemning the assault.
Also in northern Syria, clashes between rebels and troops raged inside Aleppo’s central prison, after Islamist fighters assaulted it and freed hundreds of prisoners, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The UN announced there would be a “humanitarian pause”, with spokesman Farhan Haq citing UN under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos.
The deal clears the way for delivering lifesaving supplies for about 2,500 trapped civilians, with activists saying people have survived on little more than olives for weeks.
SANA said “the relevant Syrian authorities will implement the deal by providing the necessary humanitarian assistance”.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We understand the operations will begin tomorrow, Friday morning, and will include a local humanitarian pause while the evacuations take place and while the food and other humanitarian assistance is delivered.”
Rebel-held districts in Homs have come under nearly daily shelling since the army blockaded them in June 2012.
In Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said food and supplies had been placed on the outskirts of Homs but they would not be delivered until safety is assured.
“They’re not going to travel by night, but the agreement for delivery is there, and that is what we are welcoming,” OHCHR spokesman Jens Laerke said.