Earthquake in Syria: Terrorist group in Idlib blocks aid deliveries from Damascus


A terrorist group in Idlib is blocking aid shipments going through Damascus. The West is currently demanding that all border crossings with Turkey be opened in order to enable “rapid humanitarian aid” in Syria as well. Meanwhile, the West is unwilling to ease its sanctions on Syria.

A UN spokesman said on Sunday Reutersthat humanitarian aid from government areas in Islamist-held Idlib province is being held up as the extremist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) refuses to authorize the delivery of relief supplies. The UN spokesman in Damascus underlined that the UN “continues to work with the relevant parties to gain access to the area”.

What tensions do the severe earthquakes in the Levant bring to Turkey and the region?


What tensions do the severe earthquakes in the Levant bring to Turkey and the region?

A source of HTS was from Reuters as saying that the armed group would not allow supplies from Damascus-controlled areas and that aid would come from the northern border with Turkey. “Turkey has opened all roads and we will not allow the regime to take advantage of the situation to show that it is helping,” said an unnamed HTS official.

After the earthquake, it is particularly difficult to get an overview of the situation in northern Syria on the border with Turkey. Politically and administratively, two separate regions are affected: Aleppo, controlled by the Syrian government in Damascus, and Idlib province, which is occupied by Islamists. While several Arab countries, Iran, Russia, India and China have promised the Syrian leadership support, the West is exploiting the catastrophe in northern Syria for geopolitical reasons. The West is demanding the opening of the border between Turkey and Syria for earthquake relief. While German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was pushing for the opening of all border crossings to Syria, her Syrian counterpart Faisal al-Miqdad pleaded on Wednesday for aid to be routed through Damascus. According to Miqdad, the West seems to have planned that aid supplies only reach the armed Islamists.

Islamist groups in northern Syria, primarily HTS, are known for hoarding international humanitarian aid for themselves, usually to sell at higher prices or to stabilize their mini-terror state. Thaer Salhab, the governor of Idlib, said on February 10 after Damascus approved aid to Islamist-controlled areas that the government was ready to deliver all the necessary supplies to the Islamist stronghold, but that HTS was preventing it. In the past two days, the United Arab Emirates are said to have tried to mediate between the government and the Islamists based in Idlib to allow the aid supplies to pass through.

more on the subject – Syria: US sanctions slow down earthquake aid for victims and survivors

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