Aletho News


UN cross-border aid program for Syria abused by extremists: Moscow

The Cradle | April 28, 2023

Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, said on 27 April that the UN-sponsored cross-border aid mechanism for Syria has “exhausted its capabilities” and is being “used for other purposes.”

The cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism has “has long since exhausted its capabilities and is being used for other purposes, far from addressing the humanitarian situation,” Nebenzia stressed.

The cross-border aid mechanism was established by the UN in 2014 in order to provide aid to northern Syria through the Turkish-Syrian border without authorization from the government in Damascus – a contravention of international regulations.

However, extremist militants in control of large swathes of Syria’s north began taking advantage of the mechanism in order to seize humanitarian aid for themselves, at times to sell for higher prices. Northern border-crossings associated with the UN aid program have even been subject to drug smuggling by armed groups.

Groups such as the Nusra Front, the former Al-Qaeda branch now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), have also been involved in kidnapping aid workers to demand large ransoms – worsening an already volatile humanitarian situation. The aid program also excludes the majority of the population who reside in government-held territory, where an economy ravaged by sanctions has created significant humanitarian concerns.

“We would like to stress that if our western colleagues in the UN Security Council continue to act as if nothing has happened, and ignore the thwarting of the implementation of the Security Council resolution by international terrorists, we will draw the required conclusions from the current situation while formulating our position on extending the aid transfer mechanism for next July,” Nebenzia added.

The last time the cross-border aid mechanism was extended was in January this year. Russia has called for an end to the program numerous times, and has vetoed its extension in the past.

“It looks like permissions to use two additional checkpoints for three months, issued by Damascus, have de-facto reduced to zero UN enthusiasm to unblock deliveries via the contact line,” the Russian official said.

This refers to the two additional border crossings opened by the Syrian government following February’s devastating earthquake. The crossings, which link government-held territory to the militant-held north, would allow aid to be dispersed conventionally through the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). However, the UN has yet to lift restrictions on the use of these crossings.

Some have said that this is to perpetuate the idea that Damascus is behind the obstruction of aid delivery across the country, when in fact, HTS and other groups are to blame.

April 29, 2023 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Israel is behind every atrocity and evil action taking place in Syria. Israel says jump and the American attack dog says, ‘How High!


    Comment by papasha408 | April 29, 2023 | Reply

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