The United Nations Security Council has agreed to extend a vital route for cross-border humanitarian aid to war-ravaged parts in northwest Syria by a period of six months, the length of time Russia had wanted, AFP reported on Monday.
“Russia forced the hand of everybody. Either close the mechanism, or have it for only six months. We cannot let people die,” one ambassador said on condition of anonymity.
Western states called for continuing the aid mechanism while Russia sought that the UN aid deliveries are transferred to the opposition-held areas through territories under Syrian government’s control.
The 6 month authorisation is for aid deliveries through Bab al-Hawa crossing. The Bab al-Hawa border crossing is an international border crossing on the Syria–Turkey border. It connects the Syrian M45 and the Turkish D827 highways, between the cities of İskenderun and Idlib.
Syrian ally Russia had on Friday vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have prolonged the mechanism by one year, and Western powers then voted down Moscow’s competing resolution that proposed extending approval by just six months.
The new text provides for a renewal in January 2023 for another six months, subject to the adoption of a new resolution.
It also requires a briefing every two months on the implementation of the system and calls for a special report on humanitarian needs in the region to the UN secretary-general by 10 December.
For resolutions to be adopted, at least nine of the 15 members must support it, with none of the permanent members wielding their veto.