| 17 July 2024, Wednesday |

Syria extends aid border crossings opened after quake

Syria has prolonged the reopening of border crossings from Turkey into rebel-controlled regions, which was initially reinstated after a destructive earthquake in February. The extension, lasting an additional three months, was confirmed by the United Nations on Tuesday.
It is the second three-month extension by Syria of use by UN humanitarian workers to the Bab Al-Salam and Al-Rai crossings, opened after the earthquake following international pressure.
“We greatly welcome the extension of permission by the Government of Syria to utilize the Bab Al-Salam and Al Rai border crossings until November 13,” said Eri Kaneko, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The February 6 quake in Turkiye and war-ravaged Syria killed more than 55,000 people and left thousands in border areas even more reliant on international assistance.
The latest move stands in contrast to the failure to extend a separate key aid route into Syria — the Bab Al-Hawa crossing from Turkiye.
Russia last month vetoed a nine-month extension then failed to muster enough votes to adopt a six-month extension. Syria said it would still temporarily allow use of the crossing but the United Nations denounced conditions as unacceptable.
Russia is the main international ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is looking to show that he has solidified control after more than a decade of brutal civil war.

  • Arab News