Home World Syria authorizes UN to continue using Bab al Hawa crossing

Syria authorizes UN to continue using Bab al Hawa crossing

Activists call on the international community to maintain the cross-border humanitarian corridor, at the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing, in Idlib (Syria), in a file photograph.  BLAZETRENDS/Yahya Nemah

United Nations (BLAZETRENDS) (more than four million people), according to what diplomatic sources told BLAZETRENDS.

Syria communicated its decision in a letter sent to the United Nations Security Council, after this week this body did not reach an agreement to extend that permit, in force since 2014 and which did not have the approval of the Government of that country.

Russia, which had been forcing the gradual reduction of this humanitarian mechanism for years, last Tuesday vetoed a resolution to extend it for another nine months and presented an alternative proposal to extend it for six, but did not receive the minimum amount of support necessary due to the number of conditions that included.

The Bab al Hawa crossing

According to the letter sent today, Syria will allow the UN to use the crossing to deliver aid to civilians “in full cooperation and coordination” with the government.

It remains to be seen if this situation is acceptable to all members of the Security Council or if, on the contrary, some continue to try to keep alive the existing mechanism until now, in which Syria had no control.

In any case, Russia already considered that system buried today, since its deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, assured that with the Syrian decision the mechanism “is officially dead”, and considered that it “violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria”.

“We should all be grateful to the Syrian government after it has authorized the crossing from Bab al Hawa to Idlib for six months,” he said via Twitter.

Polyanskiy insisted that there is no longer a need for any resolution in the Security Council and warned that any attempt to present a new draft would only be playing “political games”.

Help for four million people

According to diplomatic sources, other countries on the Council are still evaluating the situation in contact with the UN and humanitarian organizations.

A United Nations spokesman, asked by BLAZETRENDS, said that the organization had just received the letter from the Syrian government and was still studying it.

According to the UN humanitarian services, the use of the Bab al Hawa border crossing – which had been halted after a lack of agreement in the Council this week – is vital to bring vital aid to more than four million people living in the northwest Syria, in areas outside government control.

After the earthquakes of last February, Syria also authorized the use of two other crossings to bring assistance to these areas, some steps that will be operational at least until August 13, but through which much less aid enters.

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