Exclusive: Syrian government sending aid to armed-groups-held areas
Informed sources told Al Mayadeen that armed groups have agreed to Syrian aid convoys making it into the disaster-stricken Idlib governorate.
A convoy carrying Syrian aid is preparing to enter Idlib through the Saraqib border crossing and is currently waiting for UN representatives to hand over the relief aid to Idlib, Syrian informed sources told Al Mayadeen on Thursday.
If international organizations are late, Syria will not hesitate to deliver this aid by itself to help the disaster-stricken people, sources said. "The negotiations were fruitful, and aid is on the way."
According to Al Mayadeen's sources, the UAE side had been negotiating for the past three days with Idlib armed groups to open the crossings, regarding the entry of aid, and the latter refused.
"The armed groups were finally convinced with an aid convoy making it into Idlib through the Syrian Red Crescent and international organizations in Syria," the sources added.
"The armed groups want to garner international support for themselves alone under the pretext that the Syrian government would not allow aid to make it into their areas," the sources concluded.
Syrian aid preparing to make it into Idlib
"There is an aid convoy preparing to enter Idlib," an Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.
"The aid convoy will make it through the UN path through the Saraqib crossing," and "the efforts of the armed groups to get aid into Idlib through the Turkish borders have all been met with failure."
Western countries are not providing necessary aid to the Syrian government, which is dealing with the fallout of the devastating earthquake, and only send them to areas in Syria that are controlled by militant terrorist groups, the Syrian Presidency's Special Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban said on Thursday.
This comes after the United Nations stressed on Thursday the need to avoid "politicization" of aid to earthquake victims in Syria and urged Washington and Brussels to ensure there were "no impediments".
"Unfortunately, the West only cares about areas where the terrorists are - where the White Helmets are - but they do not care about the areas in which most Syrian people live... Most of the money and all of the equipment have been dispatched to Turkey from Europe and from the US. Nothing to Syria from Europe, at all," Shaaban told British broadcaster Sky News.
This is happening as thousands, including little children, are still calling for help from under the rubble in Syria. However, the rolling crises through which most Syrians are living didn't gain international support mainly due to the US draconian sanctions.
The crisis resulting from the terrorist war on Syria prompted civilians to seek refuge in damaged or somewhat destroyed buildings lacking basic infrastructure and services.
The war-stricken country's infrastructure is quite lacking, as a war that has lasted for more than a decade has ravaged the country's capabilities and eaten at its machinery and adequate equipment.
Terrorist groups and foreign aggression destroyed all of Syria's capabilities, from vehicles to cranes and bulldozers, among other equipment, at a time when the competent authorities need them because people are trapped under the rubble.
Sanctions shouldn't impede relief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that sanctions on Syria should not be impeding relief efforts in the country as it has recently been hit by one of the worst quakes in the world on February 6.
"This is a moment in which everybody has to make very clear that no sanctions of any kind interfere with relief to the population of Syria in the present moment," Guterres said at a briefing.
The UN chief added that people in the two quake-hitten countries, Turkey and Syria, have been suffering one nightmare after another over the devastating earthquakes and aftershocks.
"People are facing nightmare on top of nightmare," Guterres said, noting that the lack of aid materials to assist with relief efforts was also a serious issue.
On Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, killing thousands, mainly in Turkey and Syria, and leveling houses and other facilities, including public infrastructure.
The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Syria has risen to nearly 3,000 while rescue teams continue extensive search efforts to find survivors under the rubble.
Following the earthquakes, several Western countries mobilized rapidly to send aid and rescue workers to Turkey but decided to exclude Syria and neglect it, by only offering condolences and merely expressing readiness to support the affected Syrians, with nothing done on the ground, in a clear show of double standards.
To add salt to injury, Damascus International Airport is still undergoing repairs and maintenance following the most Israeli airstrike on the facility on January 2. The airport is the target of repeated Israeli occupation assaults and airstrikes that put it out of service. This fact cannot be ignored as any humanitarian aid to land in the country will definitely be hindered.
Read more: Western selective humanitarianism, Syria earthquake falls on deaf ears