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UN mandate for cross border aid to Syria to expire today


UN mandate for cross border aid to Syria to expire today

UN mandate for Syrian sid to end
Photo: REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

United Nations humanitarian agencies’ mandate for cross-border aid, including medical supplies, vaccines, food and water, into Syria expires today.

The UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2165 was adopted in 2014 and allowed cross-border aid operations through four routes into northwestern Syria. UNSCR 2504 replaced 2165 in January 2020, which permitted aid through two crossings for six months instead of 12 as it was the only deal Russia, China, the US and UK could agree to. Then, UNSCR 2533 replaced 2504 in July 2020, allowing aid only through one crossing, Bab al-Hawa, for one year.

Russia lies at the center of the debate of aid into northern Syria, preferring aid to be delivered directly from Damascus, arguing the rebel fighters exploit the border crossings. Russia calls the UN operation outdated and claims it violates Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Expect the UNSC mandate to continue through Bab al-Hawa with an extension for six months. The draft resolution, presented by Ireland and Norway, seeks to keep Bab al-Hawa open. The draft resolution first included a request to reopen a second crossing point for one year; however, to sway Russia, Ireland and Norway abandoned the request.

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