Earthquake-hit Syria to open two more border crossings for aid delivery -UN

Syria’s government has agreed to allow the UN to use two more border crossings to deliver aid to opposition-held north-western areas devastated by last week’s earthquakes, the UN says.

“It’s going to make a big difference. We are now using just one crossing,” a UN spokesman told the BBC.

But the White Helmets rescue group criticised the UN for waiting for President Bashar al-Assad’s permission.

Many Syrians have been angry over the lack of aid for their war-torn nation.

Countries with friendly relations with Mr Assad, including Russia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, began flying supplies to government-controlled areas of Syria soon after the earthquakes struck nieghbouring southern Turkey eight days ago.

But the opposition-held north-west – where some 4.1 million people were relying on humanitarian assistance to survive even before the disaster – received no aid deliveries from the UN via Turkey until Thursday.

The UN blamed damage to roads leading to the Bab al-Hawa crossing, which is the only land route the UN Security Council has authorised it to use.

As of Monday, 58 aid lorries had crossed into the opposition enclave, carrying food, tents and medicines. However, they did not include the heavy machinery and other specialist equipment requested by the White Helmets, whose first responders are leading the rescue effort there.

The use of any other crossings with Turkey has been vetoed by Russia, a key ally of Mr Assad, and China since 2020. Until now, they have insisted that all other UN deliveries must go via Damascus and cross the front-lines, even though just 10 such convoys were approved during the whole of last year.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here