The Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria will remain closed for the time being to aid convoys containing, among other things, food, medicine and hygiene products on which millions of Syrians depend. Russia on Friday rejected a UN Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of the aid mission for a year. The mission’s mandate officially expired on Sunday, so the border crossing is now closed for the time being to aid supplies destined for residents of Idlib province, which is partly controlled by Syrian opposition groups.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield spoke of a “dark day” after the vote, warning that “people are going to die as a result of this vote.” Russia also introduced its decision on Friday proposing to extend the mandate for six months instead of a year, but the United States, France and the United Kingdom objected to that.
“The six-month mandate does not provide the security and confidence displaced Syrians need, and NGOs need to continue planning and providing assistance to them,” said Thomas Greenfield. “Those six months end in January, in the middle of winter, the worst time imaginable.” Behind the scenes, diplomats are negotiating an extension of the mandate in a new vote. Until then, Bab al-Hawa will remain closed to caravans.
Other border crossings are closed
This is not the first time that the crossing aroused the discontent of the Security Council. Russia also threatened last year not to renew the mandate. Finally, a six-month extension was agreed, with six months attached. Previously there were more border crossings that aid convoys could use, but in recent years they have been closed one by one.
Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, wants to deliver relief supplies from the government-owned area, not from Turkey. In this case, the question is, aid organizations are warning, how much of the relief supplies are actually reaching the Syrians in Idlib.
Mark Cutts, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the region, told the AP news agency that convoys are regularly delayed or delayed. He says only five convoys of relief supplies crossed from government territory to opposition areas in the past year, with 800 trucks entering Bab al-Hawa Idlib each month. Katz fears that if the mandate is not renewed soon, it will have dire consequences. “You can say for sure that people will die.”
Russian veto in the UN Security Council threatens emergency aid to Syria ‘much at stake’
Only through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing can emergency aid from Turkey reach the rebel Syrian province of Idlib. But the lifeline of millions of Syrians is at risk of falling victim From the Russian veto in the UN Security Council.
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