UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador said he sees no reason to continue sending humanitarian aid from Turkey to rebel-held northwest Syria, accusing the West and the U.N of insufficient efforts to deliver aid from Damascus, and Failure to “fund early recovery projects” to improve the lives of millions of Syrians.
Dmitry Polyansky told the UN Security Council on Friday that “we cannot” maintain the status quo at all costs and usurp authority “by turning a blind eye to terrorists from HTS, the most powerful militant group in northwest Idlib,” Manipulate humanitarian aid. “
He said proponents of cross-border aid shipments “don’t want” to send aid across the conflict line from Damascus, which is easy to arrange, “which gives us no reason to keep the cross-border mechanism.”
The fighters of Al Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, “openly stated that they would not allow humanitarian shipments to pass through Damascus to compromise” the delivery of aid across the border, Polianski said.
In early July 2020, China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution that would preserve two Turkish border crossings for humanitarian aid to Idlib. A few days later, the committee authorized assistance through only one of the crossings, Bab al-Hawa. The one-year authorization was extended for another year on July 9, 2021, and expires in approximately six weeks.
UN humanitarian affairs chief Martin Griffith told the Security Council on Friday that the United Nations was “doing its best” to expand aid deliveries across the line and was working towards a fifth convoy of the year. But he stressed that “under current conditions, cross-border operations cannot replace the scale or scope of large-scale cross-border operations by the United Nations.”
“Failure to renew the authorization will disrupt life-saving assistance to people in the North West, including more than a million children,” he said.
Last month, his deputy, Joyce Msuya, told the council that “4.1 million people” in the north-west were in need of humanitarian assistance, with nearly a million of them, mostly women and children, living in tents. “Half of them are past their normal lifespan.” Last year, the United Nations delivered about 800 cross-border aid trucks to the Northwest Territories each month, “continuing to benefit 2.4 million people,” she said.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she would return to the Bab Hawa crossing in the coming weeks, stressing that “it is in everyone’s interest, including Russia and Syria, to prevent a dire humanitarian situation.” It got worse and more desperate in Syria. “
That’s why the council voted unanimously last year to expand cross-border deliveries at Bab al-Hawa “and why we must do it again this year for the benefit of all Syrians,” she said.