United Nations, Jul 9 (EFE).- The United Nations Security Council reached agreement Friday to extend authorization for humanitarian aid supplies to reach northern Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing on the border with Turkey.
Millions of civilians in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last remaining stronghold of Syria’s armed opposition, are dependent on international aid via the Bab Al-Hawa corridor.
The resolution was adopted unanimously just hours before the Security Council’s current authorization was set to expire on Saturday, which would have forced the UN and its partners to halt operations.
Russia had repeatedly threatened to veto any attempt by the Security Council to renew the resolution authorizing delivery of aid via the Bab al-Hawa crossing.
A year ago, Russia forced the closure of other humanitarian access points to rebel-held areas in Syria, limiting UN operations to Bab al-Hawa.
Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally, contends that Idlib is largely controlled by terrorists who hold the population “hostage” and commandeer the aid.
The United States and its allies have been demanding the reopening of some of the other access points, but ultimately settled for keeping Bab al-Hawa open.
Moscow sought to limit the extension to six months before accepting the proposal for a year’s extension in exchange for a commitment by the UN to issue a report on the transparency of the Bab al-Hawa operation and progress on delivering humanitarian aid from inside Syria.
Last week, humanitarian and medical aid workers in Idlib formed a human chain to dramatize their demand for the corridor to be kept open. EFE