UN extends aid through Syria-Turkey Bab al-Hawa crossing for a year

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – On Friday, the United Nations Security Council issued a decision to extend the mechanism of the entry of humanitarian aid through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey into northwest Syria, in two stages, each lasting for six months, without adding any other crossings.

United States ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the vote in favor of the extension of aid “saved Syrians’ lives.”

International news agencies reported that the extension of the mechanism came after the approval of Russia, which had previously expressed objections to previous proposals to extend the mechanism in Bab al-Hawa and restore status to the Tel Kocher (Yaroubiyah) crossing in northeastern Syria.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council postponed a vote on extending the mechanism for bringing aid across the border into Syria without the approval of Damascus due to Russian objection.

In 2014, the mechanism went into effect, but was reduced more than a year ago under Russian pressure.

On Wednesday, Russia demanded, through the Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, that the mechanism of delivering aid across the Syrian border be halted, and that it should only arrive through Damascus.

On Monday, an official in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) said that the closure of Tel Kocher crossing deprives the residents of northeast Syria of aid amounting to $26.8 million due to the suspension of support to many organizations working in the region.