US urges UN opening of additional checkpoints for aid to reach Syria
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths calls on the Security Council to authorize aid access through two more border crossings, which happen to also be connected to rebel-held areas.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield called Monday on members of the UN Security Council to "vote immediately" on a resolution to open two additional border crossings connected to rebel-held areas, particularly in Idlib, where the only crossing for humanitarian aid to Syria is operating, and where terror organizations have prevented aid from reaching government-controlled areas.
"We have heard the calls from UN leadership that the Security Council needs to authorize two additional crossings to help deliver lifesaving aid to people in the northwest of Syria. People in the affected areas are counting on us … we must vote immediately on a resolution to heed the UN call for authorization of additional border crossings for the delivery of humanitarian assistance," Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement published on the website for the United States Mission to the United Nations.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths will reportedly ask the Security Council to authorize aid access through two more border crossings connected to rebel-held areas.
Trucks with UN relief are rolling into north-west #Syria.— Martin Griffiths (@UNReliefChief) February 12, 2023
I am encouraged by the scale-up of convoys from the UN transshipment centre at the Turkish border.
We need to open more access points and get more aid out fast. pic.twitter.com/EK2ZLSxb5l
Likewise, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that sanctions should not interfere with relief efforts.
According to Reuters, citing diplomatic sources, no resolution has been drafted regarding the re-opening of more crossings.
Brazil and Switzerland are reportedly pushing for the resolution to get through at the Security Council so that more humanitarian aid can get into Syria.
The permanent representatives of Brazil 🇧🇷 and Switzerland 🇨🇭 spoke earlier today at the Security Council about the provision of humanitarian aid to Syria 🇸🇾 after the tragic earthquake in Turkey 🇹🇷 last Feb 6th. pic.twitter.com/G6Gaky2O8f— Brazil Mission UN (@Brazil_UN_NY) February 11, 2023
The Syrian government has strongly condemned the international community for delivering aid only via Idlib, where Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) has prevented the entry of aid across the frontlines of the 12-year war - leaving hundreds of thousands without humanitarian assistance.
The #NATO backed, #Turkish army protected #alQaeda franchise in occupied NW #Idlib - HTS/Nusra - refused 14 trucks of aid from the Syrian Government, after demanding USD10,000 entry fee per truck. This is how #HTS distributes its aid. pic.twitter.com/2bX2mewN8a— tim anderson (@timand2037) February 13, 2023
According to a UN spokesperson, HTS in Idlib is preventing aid from reaching earthquake-affected areas due to "approval issues," Reuters reported on Sunday.
Security Council members stated on Friday that they would wait for Griffiths to complete his assessment and present it to the Council before deciding on a course of action.
The UN official is currently in Turkey, where he recently visited the only crossing through which the UN authorizes aid deliveries to northwest Syria.
This comes as the death toll from the earthquake that struck Syria rose to more than 4,000 on Saturday, with many still under the rubble.
"We have so far failed the people in northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned. Looking for international help that hasn't arrived," Griffiths said on Twitter.
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