Humanitarian Deliveries for Syria Temporarily Suspended
Negotiations for the renewal of international humanitarian deliveries to people in rebel-held areas of Syria have been unsuccessful, leading to a temporary suspension of aid. The UN Security Council was unable to reach an agreement in time for the expiration of the previous agreement. The vote has been postponed until Tuesday, according to British UN sources in New York, as reported by AFP. Currently, Britain holds the presidency of the UN Security Council.
As the future of the cross-border mechanism for deliveries via the Turkish-Syrian border remains uncertain, aid convoys have been halted. They can only resume once UN approval is obtained.
Negotiations for a Nine-Month Extension
The 15 members of the Security Council have been engaged in days-long discussions to find a compromise. According to diplomats, a resolution proposed by Brazil and Switzerland called for a one-year extension, while Russia insisted on six months. The negotiations now focus on a nine-month extension.
According to the UN, four million people in Syria rely on deliveries of food, water, and medicine. The aid deliveries are carried out through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria. This is the only route through which UN aid can be delivered to the Syrian population without passing through areas controlled by Syrian government forces. The UN mandate for this mechanism has been in place since 2014 and needs to be renewed every six months.
Syria Claims Sovereignty Violation
Damascus and Moscow, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, view the UN deliveries as a violation of Syria's sovereignty. Russia militarily intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015.