Syria allows UN to keep delivering aid from Turkey

By Thomson Reuters Feb 11, 2024 | 6:17 PM

By Michelle Nichols

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Syria has extended permission for the United Nations to deliver aid to opposition-held areas in the northwest of the country via two Turkish border crossings for another three months, said Syria’s U.N. envoy.

After an earthquake killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria in February 2023, Damascus initially allowed the U.N. to dispatch aid through the Turkish crossings for three months. That has now been extended for a fourth time until May 13, 2024.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Koussay Aldahhak told the United Nations on Saturday that it could continue to use the Bab al-Salam and Al Ra’ee crossings, Aldahhak said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The United Nations had also been using the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey to deliver aid to millions in northwest Syria since 2014 with authorization from the U.N. Security Council. But that expired in mid-July last year after the 15-member body could not reach an agreement to extend it.

Just days later the Syrian government said the U.N. could continue using the Bab al-Hawa crossing for another six months. The Syrian government extended that approval last month for another six months.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Josie Kao)