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Red Cross chief will request Assad's help with Syria's humanitarian crisis

The Red Cross head is traveling to Syria to request that President Bashar al-Assad make it easier for humanitarian workers to reach civilians facing deteriorating living conditions.

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Swiss Peter Maurer, right, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, speaks at a panel discussion during the World Humanitarian Day, in Geneva, Switzerland in August. Maurer visits Syria this week.

AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi

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The new head of the Red Cross will urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to improve humanitarian access to civilians in the war-torn country during a visit to Syria that begins on Monday, the aid agency said.

Peter Maurer said he would also continue efforts to gain access for his agency to Syria's detention centers – which rights groups say hold tens of thousands of people rounded up during the 17-month-old conflict, including teenagers.

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