HTS holding Syria aid over 'approval issues': UN Spokesperson
Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham is preventing aid from making it to those in need over some technicalities as Syria is bleeding in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit it.
The Turkish-backed, rebranded Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda in Syria), Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) terrorist organization is holding up aid meant for Syria and sent in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit the country on Monday, a United Nations spokesperson told Reuters on Sunday.
Damascus said last week that it was willing to send aid into the country's north, which is held by various armed groups and terrorist organizations. The North is largely under the control of the terrorist HTS group.
The death toll from the earthquake that struck Syria rose to more than 4,000 on Saturday, with many still under the rubble.
Medical officials reported that 4,487 people were killed across Syria, in addition to more than 7,000 injured, in an ongoing toll.
The United Nations' Office in Damascus asked Saturday the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to postpone the entry of the aid convoy to Idlib, the governorate outside the Syrian state's control, which was scheduled for Sunday.
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, informed Syrian sources told Al Mayadeen on Thursday.
A United Nations spokesperson told Reuters on Sunday that the delivery of the aid has been held up by by approval issues with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
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."
Idlib governor Thaer Salhab stressed Friday that the Syrian state is ready to let convoys of humanitarian aid into the areas affected by the earthquake in the northwest of Idlib governorate, at any moment, after the other side opens the crossings and allows their entry.
Salhab said coordination is currently underway with the United Nations and international organizations to let in convoys with teams from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Red Cross.
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, but the latter refused.
He pointed out that "the aid convoy will enter through the United Nations via the Saraqib crossing," pointing out that "the efforts of armed groups to bring aid into Idlib, through the Turkish border, have failed."