The Syrian government has expelled three key UN humanitarian staffers, a decision the UN says could have “a major impact” on critical aid operations and harm a new effort to secure a six-week truce in the country’s largest city. The expulsions come as the UN and aid groups have struggled to get badly needed assistance to millions of people in Syria’s civil war,
which moves into its fifth year next month. Syria’s government has been blamed repeatedly for hindering the effort, which is also complicated by multiple armed groups and the recent rise of the Islamic State militant organization. The two OCHA staffers were expelled because of their contact with armed opposition groups while trying to arrange aid deliveries — one with groups in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, said UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos.