UNSC Kills Russian Bid to Limit Syria Aid to Single Turkish Crossing Point
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday voted against a Russian plan to limit humanitarian aid entering Syria via Turkey to just one border crossing point. The proposal received only four votes, with nine having been required for it to pass. On Tuesday, Russia, along with China, vetoed a Security Council resolution to extend the mandate for a program, already in place for six years, under which aid has been entering Syria via two crossing points along the border. That mandate expires on Friday. Moscow is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his more-than nine-year civil war, with most of the last rebels against Assad’s rule now holed up in the North near the border with Turkey. Russia wants Assad to have sole responsibility for distributing humanitarian aid and fears that assistance entering from the north will fall into rebel hands. Diplomats at the UN have been quoted as saying that efforts would now focus on a plan to extend the mandate for aid to cross through the two existing Turkish crossing points for another six months rather than the year called for in the proposal vetoed on Tuesday.