Without Security Council vote, UN expands cross-border aid to Syria | Turkey-Syria border news

The Bab al-Hawa crossing serves 3 million people in the Idlib region, allowing aid to pass through without going through government channels in Damascus.

Cross-border humanitarian aid to northwest Syria has effectively been extended for six months without a new UN Security Council vote.

The 15-member body had previously been mandated for six months to allow the use of Bab al-Hawa border crossing On the Turkish-Syrian border until January 10, 2022.

Bab al-Hawa is the last UN-mandated border crossing, allowing aid to be delivered directly to areas of Syria in need without going through government channels in Damascus. More than 1,000 trucks with food, medicine and other humanitarian goods pass by each month.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized in a December report that a cross-border mechanism that crosses the front line from Damascus is unlikely at this stage to replace a cross-border mechanism that Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad and a permanent member of the Security Council, favours recognizing. a mechanism. The Syrian government’s sovereignty over the entire country.

Russia has previously raised the possibility of asking the Security Council for a new vote on the issue, but has not taken that step.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday that cross-border aid was “essential”.

“We need to deliver aid across borders and lines. These are essential elements of our ability to meet the humanitarian needs of all Syrians,” he told a daily news briefing.

Asked by Al Jazeera about the lack of a new Security Council vote and Russia’s decision, he said, “We welcome any decision that allows us to continue this important cross-border aid.”

Aid through the Bab al-Hawa crossing mainly serves some 3 million people living in the Idlib area, which remains outside government control.humanitarian advocates have warn Millions face “catastrophic” consequences if aid operations stop.

In a rare show of unity, the Council unanimously adopted a Last minute compromise solution On July 9, 2021, an extension of cross-border operations is allowed.

Resolution 2585 allows the United Nations to use the Bab al-Hawa crossing to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria for a period of six months, with an automatic six-month extension.

The Security Council established four humanitarian crossings into war-torn Syria in July 2014, but when the mandate was subsequently extended, Russia and China reduced that number, using their veto powers to halt three crossings point.

Moscow has repeatedly accused the United States and Europe of politicizing humanitarian aid by supporting continued cross-border aid without going through Damascus government channels.