The United Nations Security Council has renewed its cross-border humanitarian aid operation in Syria, but the number of crossings and length of authorization has been reduced.
Aid deliveries will continue from Turkey, for six months, but two cross-border points – the Al-Yarubiyah border crossing with Iraq and the Al-Ramtha crossing with Jordan – were dropped.
The USA, UK, China, and Russia abstained from voting on the resolution, while the other 11 members, including France voted in favor.
The document also requests UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report to the Security Council by the end of February this year on the possibility of using alternatives for the crossing of Al Yarubiyah to ensure that aid reaches Syria through the most direct sources.
Speaking after the vote, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that his country did not cast a veto on the European resolution because of people in terrorist held Idlib heavily rely on such assistance.
The document demanded the exclusion of the Al Yarubiyah and Al-Ramtha border crossings for a period of six months (till 10 July 2020).
It also stipulated that humanitarian assistance into Syria should be delivered based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence by the phrase that such aid should be provided ” in accordance with the guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance, as contained in UNGA resolution 46/182″.
Russia has been extremely concerned about who is actually receiving aid deliveries in Syria, fearing that the original 2014 resolution was politicized in order to favor certain groups over others.
The agreement was reached after Belgium and Germany decided to amend the original version of their joint resolution, which proposed keeping three points for cross-border deliveries into the Arab republic.
Germany and Belgium, along with Kuwait, represent the so-called humanitarian troika on Syria.
The cross-border assistance mechanism was established back in 2014 and has since been renewed every year. It allows humanitarian aid to be delivered through UN-approved checkpoints.
Syria has been engulfed in a devastating proxy war since 2011, with the government forces fighting against the US coalition troops backing several opposition groups, as well as militant and terrorist organizations, including ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2020.