BAB AL-SALAMA: An aid convoy entered rebel-held northern Syria from Turkey on Tuesday, the first through the Bab al-Salama crossing that opened for UN aid after last week’s earthquake, the United Nations said.
The crossing has been closed to UN aid since 2020, under pressure on the UN Security Council from the Syrian government allied with Russia, instead calling for all aid to separate the country from the war and enter government-controlled areas . Paul Dillon, spokesman for the United Nations Organization for Migration, told AFP in Geneva that “11 IOM vehicles” came from the “recently opened Bab al-Salama border”. This was confirmed by an AFP reporter near the border.
Dillon said the travelers carried essential emergency supplies, including safety gear, mattresses, blankets and blankets. Transient UN aid is a way of life,” UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths tweeted.
The first delivery of UN aid to rebel-held areas after the earthquake passed through the northwestern Bab al-Hawa area on Friday. Griffiths said a total of 26 trucks passed.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed at least 35,000 people and devastated swaths of Syria and neighboring Turkey. Syrian government officials and emergency services in rebel-held areas put the death toll in the country at more than 3,600.
In the past three years, Bab al-Hawa has remained the only crossing point for international aid in areas of Syria outside of government control, up from four in 2014. Bab al-Hawa is the only way UN aid – part of the UN Security Council’s mandated aid mission nearly a decade ago – can reach civilians without passing through government-controlled areas.
But on Monday, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Damascus had given the UN permission to use the Bab al-Salama and Al-Raee crossings again to bring aid. The two Turkish border crossings will be used for the first three months, António Guterres said.
Aleppo province in the north is controlled by Turkish-backed rebels who use it for trade with Turkey and for military purposes. Activists and emergency groups in northwestern Syria have criticized the UN’s slow response to the earthquake in rebel-held areas, comparing it to an airlift of humanitarian aid. Deliveries to government-controlled airports.
On Tuesday, the first UN delegation visited the rebel-held northwest since the earthquake.