Syrians queue up for food in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour on September 10, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
MOSCOW, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has sent a letter to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, asking for his assistance to increase humanitarian aid to Syria.
"The Russian side continuously provides humanitarian and medical assistance, demines the liberated territories and solves many issues related to restoring a peaceful life," said Shoigu, according to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry on Monday.
But in order to return hundreds of thousands of refugees to their homes as soon as possible, Syria needs consolidated efforts of the entire international community, he said in the letter.
Shoigu recalled that the Syrian government troops with the support of the Russian Air Force have liberated a significant part of Syria from terrorists, creating conditions for the restoration of a peaceful life.
However, according to him, not all Syrians are able to return to their homes quickly as terrorists have destroyed many settlements.
Thousands of houses, schools, medical institutions and other social infrastructure are in ruins, the statement said.
More than 1,000 tons of food and over 80 tons of medicine are acutely needed today, Shoigu said.
According to earlier reports on Monday, Russia will send 175 demining engineers to defuse mines in Syria's Deir al-Zour.
The first detachment of 40 deminers has already been deployed to Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces and U.S.-backed militias converged on the Islamic State in separate offensives against the militants in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour on Sunday.