The Syrian Democratic Council

The Veto Deprives Millions of Syrians Of Humanitarian Aid

According to UN statistics and reports, there are / 11 / million people in need of humanitarian aid along the Syrian geography, of whom / 5 / million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance as a result of continuing conflict situation.

Crossings are the lifeblood

Border crossings are the first outlet for any country, as it is the country’s gateway to reach the outside world, governed by internal and national laws of any country, it is governed by international laws as well.
In the Syrian case, which is characterized by its long borders with its neighbors, we find several crossings with each neighboring country (Iraq-Turkey-Lebanon-Jordan)
The border crossings had the most important role in delivering humanitarian aid, medical equipment and medicines to Syria, they are the link between the United Nations and the areas outside the control of the Syrian government and provide millions of Syrians with humanitarian aid, after people lost the essentials of decent living.
On July 14, 2014, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2165, in which it stated that it allowed the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners to use “Bab al-Salam and Bab al-Hawa” crossings in north with Turkey, “Al-Yarubiya” in east with Iraq and “Ramtha” in south with Jordan to enter Humanitarian aid to Syria.

The politicization of the humanitarian process

For six years, humanitarian agencies have relied on border crossings to bring relief materials and medicines through the four outlets and crossings.
On December 20, 2019, Russia and China used their veto power against a UN resolution proposing to renew the mechanism established by Resolution 2165 that allows the United Nations to deliver humanitarian aid across the border to Syria from Bab al-Salam, Bab al-Hawa and Al-Yarubiya crossings.
Thus, the process of delivering humanitarian aid was subject to political agendas, and that led to.depriving millions of Syrians of medical aid and equipment in light of outbreak of Corona epidemic, precisely those areas outside the control of central government in Damascus.

Al-Yarubiya Crossing .. calls, pleas and deaf ears

The UN Security Council has recognized that the regions of north and east Syria host more than 710 thousand people who have been locally displaced from different regions of Syria as a result of ongoing conflict in the country and that the percentage of children reaches 42% in addition to presence of camps that are the largest in the region such as Al-Houl camp that contains families of the fighters of the terrorist ISIS and its population is estimated at 70,000.
On February 21, 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations reviewed alternative ways for Al- Yarubiya border crossing, in which he touched on the humanitarian situation in north and east Syria, indicating in a report that there are more than 1.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance as 1.34 million do not exist in areas in the control of the Syrian government and about 70,000 people are still displaced in northeastern Syria afterTurkish “Spring of Peace” operation that started on October 9, 2019.
On July 17, Germany and Belgium presented a draft UN resolution demanding that the Iraqi Al-Yarubiya crossing be opened for a period of 6 months. A draft of this resolution also gives the Security Council the option to extend approval for another six months based on an assessment by the United Nations Secretary-General “Antonio Guterres” due to the impact of Coronavirus in Syria.
For his part, (Louis Charbonneau), director of international affairs for Human Rights Watch, said, “World Health Organization must stand steadfast and not yield to pressure from major powers. It is about saving lives, not avoiding criticism.”
Charbonneau added that the Security Council should immediately renew the mandate to use “Al-Yarubiya” crossing, which is located in northeastern Syria within the areas controlled by the “Syrian Democratic Forces”. On the other hand, Western diplomats said that the closure of the Syrian-Iraqi crossing prevents 40% of medical aid to northeastern Syria. . ”

Sterile alternative solutions

The United Nations has proposed the possibility of using Tal Abyad border crossing between Syria and Turkey (under the control of factions backed by Turkey) to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in northeastern Syria, after Russia and China prevented the international organization from using “Al-Yarubiya” crossing on Iraqi borders for this purpose. In January of current year, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, rejected concerns about the closure of Iraqi crossing, saying that the situation on the ground has changed and that aid is arriving to northeast from inside Syria.

This constituted an obstacle to Self-Administration for North and East Syria, especially during spreading of Coronavirus, which threatened the world, where it was not possible to access the necessary drugs and medical equipment by the United Nations, so the Self-Administration was forced to bring some equipment through the unofficial crossing “Vishkhabur-Semalka” by non-governmental organizations.
Closing the humanitarian artery to north and east Syria could put millions of people at great risk, while the United Nations offers solutions that may be passive and ineffective.