Dmitry Polyansky told the U.N. Security Council that “we are not okay” with preserving the status quo at any cost, and cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that terrorists from Tahrir al-Sham, the strongest terrorist group in northwest Idlib, “usurp the authority and manipulate humanitarian assistance”, AP reported.
He said supporters of cross-border aid deliveries “show no wish” to enable aid deliveries across conflict lines from Damascus which could be easily arranged, “which leaves us no reason to preserve the cross-border mechanism.”
Polyansky said that terrorists for Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, “openly state that they are not going to let through humanitarian cargo from Damascus to the detriment” of cross-border aid deliveries.
In early July 2020, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have maintained two border crossing points from Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to Idlib. Days later, the council authorized the delivery of aid through just one of those crossings, Bab al-Hawa. That one-year mandate was extended for a year on July 9, 2021 and expires in about six weeks.
U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths told the council Friday that the U.N. is doing its “utmost” to expand cross-line aid deliveries, and is working toward a fifth convoy this year. But he stressed that “cross-line operations cannot under current conditions replace the size or the scope of the massive U.N. cross-border operation.”
“Failure to renew the authorization will disrupt life-saving aid for the people living in the northwest, including more than one million children,” he said.