Damascus agreed to open two more checkpoints for humanitarian aid to uncontrolled territories

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has authorized the opening of two additional border crossings in the country’s northwest on the border with Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to earthquake-hit areas, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. He welcomed the decision of Damascus.

We are talking about the opening of Bab es-Salam and Al-Rai checkpoints for an initial period of three months. “The opening of these sites, along with ensuring humanitarian access, expediting the issuance of visas and facilitating travel between transport hubs, will allow more aid to be delivered faster,” the statement said. statement Mr Guterres.

For several years, Damascus and Moscow have insisted that all humanitarian aid be delivered to Syria through the official authorities. That is, all cargo must first reach Damascus and then go through the lines of contact between the parties to the conflict (cross-line) to those in need in territories not controlled by the Syrian authorities. At the same time, Western countries insist on sending humanitarian supplies around Damascus – through the external borders of Syria through Turkey or Iraq. As a result of the compromise reached by Russia and Western countries in the UN Security Council in recent years, cross-border assistance was carried out only through one Bab al-Hawa checkpoint, which leads from Turkey to the Syrian province of Idlib. However, this was not enough to help the victims of the earthquake in northern Syria.

On the night of February 6, an earthquake devastating for Turkey and Syria occurred. Tens of thousands of people died. According to the World Health Organization, 8.5 thousand people became victims of the earthquake in Syria, including 4.5 thousand people in the territories not controlled by Damascus.

About the difficulties with the delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria – in the material “Kommersant” “Earthquake Diplomacy”.

Leonid Uvarchev, Marianna Belenkaya

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