UNSC Adopts European Resolution on Cross-Border Humanitarian Aid Deliveries to Syria

People walk near rubble of damaged buildings in the city of Idlib Syri

Craft, the USA ambassador, said all United Nations officials agree that the humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening, and she called the watered-down resolution demanded by Russian Federation "shocking, comprehensive indifference to human suffering".

With 11 members voting yes and the rest abstaining, the 15-member council on Friday adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of the mechanism for six months, preserving two of the existing crossings on the Syria-Turkey border. As Council members met to consider re-authorizing cross-border humanitarian aid at the meeting on Friday afternoon, the United Nations noted earlier that more than three million Syrians depended on aid trucked in from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. "There is no viable alternative to this crossing today", he told the council before the vote.

Syrian government warplanes struck several rebel-held areas in the country's northwest on Saturday, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens, opposition activist said.

Moscow argues that aid is being delivered at a sufficent level by the Syrian government.

Germany's U.N. Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who co-sponsored the resolution, stressed "the heavy price" it came with. Two crossings from Turkey into northwestern Syria will remain.

And in November, Lowcock had told the Chamber that four million people across northern Syria were supported by United Nations cross-border humanitarian assistance.During the meeting, several members cited the province's deteriorating humanitarian situation to illustrate the urgent need to renew the cross-border aid mechanism before it expires. It said four people were killed in Binnish.

"It would be that much worse if we would not have access through cross-border operations".

Friday's vote, he said, was a positive development for Syria's Idlib province housing three million people, almost half of whom have been displaced from other parts of the country. But Russia re-issued its own proposal stating that it wanted two crossing points and an extension of six months.

China's U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun said Beijing has always had "reservations" about cross-border humanitarian deliveries to Syria. A Turkish offensive in October against Syrian Kurdish militants led the U.S.to abandon its Kurdish allies, both countries drawing strong criticism.

Germany's representative lamented that the decision had come "at a heavy price" for 1.4 million people in north-eastern Syria who would "wake in the morning up not knowing if they would be able to get the medical aid they needed".

Veto wielding Security Council members China and Russian Federation rejected a more robust assistance mission in December.

The uptick in violence in recent weeks has sparked warnings from worldwide aid groups of a new humanitarian tragedy and Friday's vote to scale down vital aid deliveries drew angry reactions.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia rejected her comments, saying the situation had changed dramatically and that Security Council action should reflect that.



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