Security and countering violence

The United Nations announced on Saturday that Syria had granted a three-month extension for the transport of humanitarian aid to earthquake-affected rebel areas. This is being done via two cross-border crossings from Turkey.


Following a request from the UN, and with the current permit about to expire, the Damascus government agreed to extend the passage through the Bab al-Salama and al-Rai border crossings for a further three months. The decision was reported to AFP by Eri Kaneko, spokesperson for the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).


In 2014, a UN Security Council resolution approved the use of four border crossings to deliver humanitarian aid to rebel areas in northern and north-western Syria, where more than four million people live. However, under pressure from Moscow, only the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey has remained operational since 2020.


Following the 6 February earthquake in Turkey and Syria, NGOs and opponents strongly criticised the slow arrival of UN aid in the affected areas, where people were already living in difficult conditions before the disaster. A week later, the Damascus government agreed to allow the UN to use two other border crossings with Turkey to provide tents, blankets and cholera kits.