Russia gets the upper hand in UN aid to Syria
The U.N. Security Council members agreed on an 11th hour proposal to extend the UN aid to 4 million refugees in Northern Syria living in dire conditions after days of quarrel over how long to keep the operation in place.
The mandate for the operation, which has been delivering food, medicine and shelter via Turkey’s Hatay province to the opposition-controlled Idlib area, expired on Sunday.
An earlier proposal by Norway and Ireland for a yearly extension of the aid has been vetoed by Russia which in turn pressed for a six month extension, despite warnings by aid groups that six months is not enough to plan and operate effectively.
"Russia forced the hand of everyone. Either close the mechanism or only six months. We cannot let people die," Rudaw cited an ambassador who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
Russia argues that the U.N. aid through Turkey violates Syria's sovereignty and says more aid should be delivered from inside the country, raising opposition fears that food and other aid would fall under government control.