UN approval of Syria aid deliveries from Turkey set to expire, impeded by Russia

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

UN Security Council approval for aid deliveries to several million people in opposition-held Syria from Turkey is set to expire on Monday as council members struggled to convince Russia to extend the massive UN operation for more than six months.

In 2022 and 2020 the mandate for the operation ran out, but was renewed a day later. Authorization is needed because Syrian authorities did not agree to the operation, which has been delivering aid including food, medicine and shelter since 2014.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The 15-member Security Council had been negotiating a text, drafted by Switzerland and Brazil, to allow the UN operation to continue using the Bab al-Hawa crossing for 12 months. But Russia put forward a rival text proposing six months on Friday.

Some diplomats said they hope the council can reach an agreement on a text and vote on Tuesday. To be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, France or Britain.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council last month: "A 12-month authorization enables us and our partners to deliver better humanitarian outcomes in the months ahead. It is as simple as that."

Griffiths said the $5.4 billion UN aid appeal for Syria for 2023 is the largest in the world, but less than 12 percent funded.

Russia argues that the UN aid operation violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It says more aid should be delivered from inside the country, raising opposition fears that food and other aid would fall under government control.

The Security Council initially authorized aid deliveries in 2014 into opposition-held areas of Syria from Iraq, Jordan and two points in Turkey. But Russia and China have whittled that down to just one Turkish border point.

A crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 led to civil war, with Moscow backing Assad and Washington supporting the opposition. Millions of people have fled Syria and millions are internally displaced.

Read more:

Top US diplomat urges extension of cross-border Syria aid in call with UAE FM

UN calls for extension of cross-border Syria aid mechanism as period set to expire

UN to vote on aid deliveries from Turkey to Syria as Russia issues rival resolution

Top Content Trending